Staff Spotlight, Jessica Watkins

a woman in uniform leans on a railing and smiles

Park Ranger, Jessica Watkins

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park 

A Florida native, Jessica was born in Madison, then moved to Tampa for 30 years before finally returning home to north Florida. She has been with the park service for 10 years, getting her start as a volunteer before eventually becoming a full-time park ranger. Prior to moving back to the area, Jessica worked at Hillsborough River State Park and the Ybor City Museum State Park in Tampa. Today Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park is her home, and she’s loving it.

Spring is her favorite season because of the diverse plant life and colors, and she enjoys sharing her passion for flowers with visitors. She loves the outdoors and helping others learn about the “real Florida." Jessica likes “not knowing what is around the bend, be it a deer or even an assassin bug!” Jessica truly appreciates children who visit the parks, and encourages their participation in the junior ranger program. She makes time to point out an insect or flower of interest to the kids, and uses absolutely every opportunity that she can as a teachable moment. We here at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park are truly grateful to have Ranger Jessica Watkins call us family.

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