Stepping Up & Helping Out

From the Field

While everyone at Great Parks works towards the same mission and goals, sometimes it’s easy for each department to get caught up in its own day-to-day work. Park visitors probably never know when staff from different areas pull together on a project, but the benefits are still there. This inter-departmental teamwork was especially evident this past year at Miami Whitewater Forest.

In late fall, the Operations Department at Miami Whitewater Forest followed one of the golf course designer’s recommendations to re-contour the approach to the green on Hole 7. We talked with our golf pro, Harry Alexander, and explained how we needed to complete this work quickly, since our window for good weather was closing. In response, Harry offered up two of his own staff. Nate Kuehn and Kyle Unger jumped in with Operations folks in removing (and carrying) several pallets of sod. The soil work was handled, the sod re-laid and the project was completed in record time. The final results were beautiful, and it was a great addition to the golf course without adding extra maintenance.

MWF_Hole 7_Fall 2013_2         MWF_Hole 7_Fall 2013

More recent examples occurred over the last few weeks during our winter storms. One of the rangers, Officer Larry Swigart, took it upon himself to help keep the sidewalks in front of the ranger station and visitor center clear. He worked closely with Operations snow removal folks on park roadway closings and openings, minimizing frustration by our park guests. Recreation employees Michael Brech and Neal Ramsey also pitched in by moving 30 water-logged trash cans from the soccer complex shelter and parking lots to higher ground during most recent Great Miami flooding.

Over the years, there have been countless times when folks from other departments have helped the Operations Department with projects and emergency cleanup (Hurricane Ike!). We truly appreciate all of the efforts and value the willingness of co-workers to get their hands a little (or a lot!) dirtier than normal. We are fortunate to work with a group of people that is willing to help each other in time of need. And the best thing about this type of teamwork is that it benefits everyone who enters our Great Parks.

Carolyn Pottschmidt, Park Manager, Miami Whitewater Forest