2023 PARK RANGER OF THE YEAR
Park Ranger of the Year Awardee is Park Ranger Henry Gonzalez
The Florida Park Service Ranger Association congratulates Park Ranger Henry Gonzalez for being selected for the 2023 Park Ranger of the Year Award. He, along with the district awardees, received his award on April 1, 2023, at the Florida Park Service Ranger Association’s Annual Meeting at Silver Springs State Park. The awardees were selected from statewide nominations representing more than 1,000 Florida Park Service employees.
Park Ranger Gonzalez plays a crucial role at Collier-Seminole State Park. With 20 years of experience at the park, he has been involved in every aspect of the park’s operation. His skill set, work ethic, Ranger First attitude, and willingness to help co-workers and the public, make him a go-to Park Ranger for his district. Following the recent Hurricane Ian, he worked tirelessly to restore all park equipment, saving the park tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, Henry provided expert advice on building repairs and was a critical asset due to his fluency in Spanish, which helped him communicate with contractors. When a problem arises in the park, Henry is usually the first on the scene with solutions ready on how to solve it. He is always ready to share his knowledge and train park staff on how to maintain, utilize, build, and repair equipment and facilities properly and safely.
Darren Flickinger, Park Manager, wrote in Ranger Gonzalez’s nomination, “His positive personality and sense of humor are contagious. Anyone who knows Mr. Gonzalez would agree that he is more than deserving of this award. He is just one of those people that shows up every day and can be relied on to solve any problem that arises or do whatever is thrown at him. The park is so happy to have him, and hopefully for another 20 years!”
Gonzalez was selected for this award from the top awardee in each district. The district awardees include Wilbur "Fred" Provost - District 1, Tom Thompson - District 2, and Cassandra Meadows - District 5. Each of these finalists is exceptional and deserving of recognition for their Ranger First service. Congratulations to each awardee.
The Park Ranger of the Year Award is hosted by the Florida Park Service Ranger Association and sponsored by Tyler Technologies. This is the second year of the award that recognizes exceptional Florida Park Service employees who exemplify the Ranger First attitude; Service to the land and to the public who use the land and Service Above Self.
Park Ranger of the Year eligible nominees include all Florida Park Service employees regardless of their official position title. “Park rangers are the heart of Florida’s award-winning state parks, and we want to recognize these exceptional employees who serve every day to make our state parks the very best in the nation,” said Donald Forgione, president of the Ranger Association.
Mission - Supporting those who serve Florida State Parks, past and present, by providing financial assistance, cultivating a family atmosphere, and perpetuating a spirit of unity and service.
Vision - Supporting those who serve Florida's State Parks
Motto - Family, Service, Traditions