Staff Spotlight, Jeff Thomas

Exotic Plant Specialist Jeff Thomas smiling at the camera

Exotic Plant Technician, Jeff Thomas

Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

One of Jeff Thomas' passions is plants. Whether in Florida, or Indiana where he moved as a young man, he’s always worked with plants. 

Jeff’s wife Kim is a confessed green thumb too. Together they operated their own nursery & landscape business in Indiana.  Six years ago, they moved back to Florida.  Jeff started volunteering for the Florida Park Service.

When the Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park was acquired, who better to help restore the one-time citrus grove back into natural Florida? Jeff knew the plants that were native and the ones that were not.  Today, Jeff is a hired exotic plant technician at the preserve. His job entails exotic plant removal at the park and mentoring new Americorps members that assist in the restoration of the preserve.

Jeff also attends local festivals and events with the park’s “Show Team” where he helps educate and interpret the importance of habitat restoration and the preservation of natural lands in Florida. 

When he’s not working, he loves to kayak with his wife riding in their two-man kayak. Beachcombing is another favorite hobby. 

You might wonder what Jeff's favorite plant is? Jeff's favorite plant is the horsemint. If you see him, make sure to stop and say hello!