July is Parks and Recreation Month! We’re also celebrating our 90th birthday this July. While we can’t celebrate with you in person right now, we’re commemorating these occasions in a different way: Meet the faces behind Great Parks of Hamilton County. Learn more about the people who are passionate about bringing you the best experience every time you visit your favorite Great Park.
Meet Julie Stubbs, Central Region Nature Interpreter
How long have you worked for Great Parks of Hamilton County?
What first interested you in working in parks and recreation?
I have always loved being out in nature, for as long as I can remember it’s been my happy place. As a high schooler, before living in Ohio, I remember hiking over the fells in Yorkshire and coming across a woodlot of English bluebells; the sunlight was dappled and it was a truly gorgeous sight to see. I feel very fortunate to have a career where I can share what I love.
What is a typical day at work like for you?
Often it’s a mix of talking with the public on the trail, on the phone or in a program. Working with the team to create new ways to interpret our resources and connect people to them. We talk about community-building a lot in my workplace, and it’s a very deliberate action. Of course, there’s a fair share of office work, but there’s also the opportunity to work with our amazing birds of prey and explore new corners of our parks.
How does your work directly impact park guests?
I feel my job is about creating positive experiences. Whether it be a field trip for children, a boat trip with seniors on Winton Lake or a Community Art Trail at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve. Sometimes it’s subtle, like chatting with our guests on the trail, answering questions and sharing observations. Sometimes it’s just talking to someone who might be a little lonely. I hope that our biggest impact is that everyone feels welcome and takes some joy from the space, whatever form that comes in.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Being a public servant, brainstorming with my creative and talented co-workers and seeing how much happiness our parks bring people. I never thought of myself as essential staff, but the last few months have convinced me that we provide spaces that are essential.
Who do you spend the most time with outside of work?
My wife, Gia, a solid force for good and someone who keeps me grounded.
How do you like to spend your free time?
You guessed it – in nature. I like to garden, hike and in summertime, kayak. I also have a strange penchant for watching historical dramas on TV.
Do you have a favorite spot in Great Parks?
I am a little biased toward Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve. I love that it’s appreciated and well-supported by the local community. For a romp-stomping hike, I would have to say the high quality woodland trails at Miami Whitewater Forest would win out.
What are your hopes for Great Parks of Hamilton County’s next 90 years?
I hope that we continue to grow to protect green spaces and waterways for the future. I hope that there is something special in the parks for everyone and that they are an integral part of every community; safe and accessible for all people.