Park Ranger Profile: Lori Ann Hopkins from Hodges Garden State Park, LA
Spring is in the air at last! Flowers are blooming, trees are sprouting, and the animals are coming out to play. What better way to celebrate the warming weather than to check out the gorgeous transformation of nature at your local park? For those of you living or visiting down south, Hodges Garden State Park is the place to visit this spring.
With its daily hikes through gardens filled with hundreds of colorful flowers, magical streams and waterfalls, and fuzzy little friends, you will feel rejuvenated from the long winter inside. They also have a number of quaint cabins to rent and campsites if you want to spend a few days exploring the extensive grounds that cover over 700 acres. There is also a gorgeous lake in the center of the park where people can go boating and do some fishing, as well as an equestrian center for those with horses.
Hodges Gardens is a true testament to man’s efforts of conservation and restoration in a region of Louisiana that had been left barren by the massive clear cutting philosophy known as “cut out – get out” that ran from Alabama to East Texas in the late 1800’s. A.J. Hodges was a leader in the conservation movement who set the standards for preservation of our natural resources and his family was kind enough to donate the park to the state in 2007.Lori Ann Hopkins is an Interpretive Park Ranger there and has been in service there now for about a year. As one of the lucky rangers who get to spend most of their days in this haven of nature, she answered a few questions for us about what it’s like to work at this park and why it’s so important to be a park ranger:
3) What’s a fun fact about your park you like to share with visitors?
4) What advice would you give to kids and their parents visiting your park?
5) What is the most important thing about parks in your opinion?