Staff Spotlight, Sarah Wurzel

Sarah Wurzel

Park Ranger, Sarah Wurzel

The Barnacle Historic State Park

Sarah Wurzel’s love for nature started in the wilds of Wyoming in the Big Horn Basin. She was born and raised in town of Powell and visited nearby mountains and Yellowstone National Park often with her family. The abundant beauty inspired her to seek a career in science and conservation. Sarah recently moved to Florida to work in marine conservation and heard about The Barnacle Historic State Park through friends who volunteer there.

Sarah is now the OPS Ranger specializing in exotic plant control. The Barnacle is her first time working in plant conservation, and she enjoys learning about a whole new ecosystem and being a part of protecting a native hardwood hammock. Her favorite part of the job is witnessing people’s curiosity about the park’s history and their joy in learning more about it.

Sarah is usually in the hardwood hammock removing non-native and invasive plants, with lizards and mosquitoes for company, or on the grounds tending the park’s interpretive kitchen garden. She also leads volunteers, including many college students earning Service-Learning credit for school, in natural resource management projects. She likes being outside and having a positive impact on the park and hopes more and more people appreciate and protect the natural environments around them.

A Day in the Hammock

A series of poems by Sarah Wurzel

There once was a woman from Wyoming, she seemed somewhat easy-going, but when it came to trees and viny little peas, she aggressively kept them from sowing

I meet with scores of lizards a day, they watch me as I make my way, removing vines by the roots, ripping up invasive shoots, they wonder if I’ll let them stay

The hammock seems still and unassuming, somewhere inside a ranger is looming, visitors frolic by, something catches their eye, “Ah!” “What is that man with the hat doing?”

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