Staff Spotlight, Jim Valentine

Jim, standing in front of a fountain with a map of Florida over it.

Park Service Specialist, Jim Valentine

De Leon Springs State Park

Jim Valentine has enjoyed the outdoors for as long as he can remember and has fond memories of always playing outside as a child and often visiting the beach. In 2014, Jim moved to Florida from Virginia and became a park ranger at Bahia Honda State Park. It was completely different than anything else he had done before. While he has always had an affinity for working outdoors, he went into this position not really knowing to expect. Ever since then his reality has far surpassed anything that he ever could imagine. Jim never imagined that the position would be so exciting, beaming with a new challenges every day! Unfortunately, after Hurricane Irma in 2017 Jim had to leave Bahia Honda, however after a little searching, he found a new home at De Leon Springs State Park and fell even more in love with Florida State Parks.

While Jim is the park service specialist, he is not shy about helping wherever he is needed. A multi-talented individual, Jim loves the diverse nature of his position and feels lucky that he has a job where he gets to work outside. From maintaining the grounds, working on administrative projects or leading visitors on tours, Jim is always ready to do it all.

While Jim is still relatively new to De Leon Springs, he has a lot of ambitious ideas to help make the park even more memorable for visitors. With the park fostering a newfound passion for birding, Jim would like to share his love of birding with visitors by creating a program to help educate guests about the various migrating and local birds in the park. He currently is leading a project with AmeriCorps to expand and improve The Wild Persimmon Trail.

Jim feels that De Leon Springs offers a great balance of recreation, history and natural beauty in a small package. With countless resources, recreational opportunities and fun to be had, he can find something for everyone at De Leon Springs State Park.

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