Martin settles in at GCSP

Published 12:31 am Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Joe Martin, the new natural-resources ranger at Beaufort County’s Goose Creek State Park, feels right at home in the park’s Discovery Room, which showcases examples of the park’s wildlife. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

GOOSE CREEK STATE PARK — Joe Martin is one of the new faces among the staff at Goose Creek State Park, but he’s no stranger to Beaufort County.

It was romance that first brought Martin to the area: his girlfriend grew up here, he confided.

A native of Plattsburgh, N.Y., Martin attended North Carolina State University, where, in 2002, he earned a degree in fish and wildlife science. After graduation, he worked at Mount Mitchell State Park in Yancey County and Eno River State Park in Durham before joining the Goose Creek State Park staff in October.

“I think it’s a great example of a swamp marsh in transition,” Martin said of Goose Creek. “You can actually get out in the middle of it and see the differences and how it’s changing.”

Martin’s official title is natural-resources park ranger. His goals include updating the park’s campground facilities, creating more accessible group camping and maintaining and improving the historical ecosystem at the park.

One of his duties is taking a turn leading the park’s free environmental-education programs, which are offered every weekend. A self-described outdoorsman, Martin enjoys hiking, and he’s sharing that hobby with park visitors. He’s led recreational hikes as well as a more industrious, four-and-a-half-mile trek to aid visitors who wanted a little help with meeting their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and improve their health.

Along with Martin’s appreciation of the natural beauty of the park, he said he is impressed with the staff there.

“It’s a cohesive unit. … It’s pretty small so everybody has to work together,” he said. “It’s very important to have a great group of folks to work with.”

Nicole Crider, another new ranger at Goose Creek State Park, will be profiled in a future edition of the Washington Daily News.