Staff Spotlight, Lance Mathews

Park Attendant Lance Matthews in the ranger station

Lance Mathews, Park Attendant

Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

As a 14-year long employee at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, Lance Mathews’ official title is park attendant. He has played a significant role in the park’s history, first, as an employee under the previous private ownership and, now, in the development of the 175th Florida State Park.

Lance served in the Navy on aircraft carriers for 20 years and developed a work ethic, integrity and responsibility that is reflected in his park service work. His vast maintenance skills have played a key role in the park's success, from operating tractors and mowers to plumbing and electrical projects. He participates in every aspect of park operation, often seeking out additional challenges and lending a hand.

He saw a recycling opportunity when the administrative office needed furniture. Lance used his innovation skills to create desks, shelving and countertops out of old picnic tables, transforming the space into a fully functioning office.

As a child his family would vacation at the National Parks, traveling from California to Florida. This experience instilled in him an appreciation of nature and the motivation for protecting our natural resources. Working as a steward of a springs park, Lance is adept at enhancing visitors’ experiences and interprets the connection between the aquifer, our water quality, recreation and the environment.

Lance is married with three daughters and eight grandchildren. He enjoys bringing his family to the park and sharing the opportunity to educate future generations to the importance of protecting and preserving our springs.

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