PROFILE 2024: Jason Pilkington

Published 8:00 am Sunday, April 14, 2024

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Name: Ryan Pilkington 

Age: 24 

Residence: Greenville, North Carolina 

Ryan Pilkington is an East Carolina University alumn and Park Ranger at Goose Creek State Park. He has also worked at the park as a seasonal employee and in maintenance. His job responsibilities include administration, natural resource management like prescribed tree removal, spraying invasive species, planning educational programs, first response and law enforcement 

  1. What was your initial impression of Beaufort County, and has it changed? I think initially when I first came out here, I thought it was a really small county with not many people and very rural. It still is and that’s how I generally think about it, but I really do enjoy working here.My ideas and impressions of Beaufort County have gotten better. It’s a great place to be. I’m from Greenville. I’m from Pitt County. I grew up there as well, and I live there now so I kind of had a standard. Beaufort County is smaller than Pitt County, population wise, but I love it. It has a lot of beautiful things to offer. 
  2. What are some unique challenges your generation faces? I think ours now is social media, because that’s not something that was around before. Technology too – even out here at the park we still have a lot that relies on technology. When that technology goes out…for certain things we are dead in the water… Obviously, we can still do the natural resource side of things and we can lead a program without technology, but even out here in the park it’s kind of interesting to see how much we rely on technology nowadays. 
  3. What’s your current outlook on the world? Is it positive or negative? I would say probably neutral. I think there are some really bad things going on in the world and some really sad things that are going on. I also think there are a lot of positive things and happy things going on. 
  4. If you could plan Beaufort County’s future, and it all came to fruition, what would you like to see happen? I think if I had to plan Beaufort County’s future –  I would say add more things to bring in a younger generation…There are some things bringing young folks in, but I feel like there could always be more. Anything to bring in those younger families. If they are going to move here, they are going to bring younger children who are eventually going to grow up, and they are going to bring in younger people. 
  5. If you had to choose to work in Beaufort County a second time, would you? Yes, I would. I think it has a lot of great opportunities – natural resource wise. I think the thing I love the most is probably the different landscapes you can see – the waterfront, the forest and wetlands at Goose Creek State Park. 

BONUS: If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would you choose and what would you eat? U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. I really respect him, and the work that he did with National Parks and establishing parks in the National Parks system. Denzel Washington, because I like his work a lot. I think that he is a good person for sure, and I think he has a lot of wisdom. For the third one, I would say Kevin Hart. He’s very funny. As far as what we would eat – probably a good steak.