HEADQUARTERS, TUPELO, MS: By the end of the year, Natchez Trace Parkway will say “Happy Trails” to 11 employees who have decided to exchange the day-to-day grind for a life of leisure.

“These employees have contributed more than 300 years of combined service to the Parkway, stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “They take with them an incredible amount of institutional knowledge and experience. We will miss them but wish them well.”

Following is a list of our colleagues who are moving on to their next adventures: District Rangers Kim Korthius (29 years) and Patrick Shell (30 years); Rangers Andy Atkins (28 years) and Dave Henry (32 years); District Foremen Terry Stanley (31 years) and Terry Hale (26 years); Maintenance Mechanics Mike Frazier (30 years) and Paul Brown (29 years); Tractor Operators Claude Taylor (19 years) and Mancil Deason (29 years); and Interpreter Mike Hazlip (23 years).

The retirements from the maintenance division have the potential to impact the visitor experience significantly.  The men from this division are who make the parkway a pleasant place for visitors to come.  They are the ones who make the Parkway neat and clean; they know how to do the best job in the least amount of time; they are dedicated to make this park the best it can be.

Chief of Maintenance Barry Boyd added, “For me, this is also quite a blow.  I will miss these men because of how much I have come to appreciate each one of them.  I will miss their loyalty, their character, their honesty, and their leadership; but most of all their friendship.”

Chief Ranger Sarah Davis offered, “These employees have left an indelible mark on the National Park Service and the Natchez Trace Parkway. The Parkway will miss their professional expertise, which includes over 120 years of experience from the four rangers.  I thank each of them for their service and dedication to the Ranger Profession and for their protection of our National Parks and the people who visit them.“

“Mike has been a critical part of the Mount Locust operation since 1991. He has personally guided thousands of park visitors through the historic site and enjoyed sharing his love of the site and its history with area schoolchildren and the traveling public,” stated Chief of Interpretation Terry Wildy. “Mike enjoyed taking on the persona of “Mike Fink” the boatman and telling the story of the heyday of the old trace when thousands of boatman would return home using the Natchez Trace. His expertise will be missed.”

To find out more about upcoming programs and general information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/natr.

About the National Park Service.  More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 398 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov

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