Whenever I tell people I work for DNR Parks and Trails, I usually receive one of several reactions. The first reaction is usually delight at the idea of playing with frogs and butterflies all day, what a lucky person you are! Other times, people smile and make a reference to the popular TV sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” to which I respond, “Yes, that show is eerily accurate!” Most commonly, people will be bursting at the seams to talk with me about an issue or idea for their local park, trail, or water body, and what can I do to help? This often transitions into a hunting or fishing rules conversation as well. Unfortunately, more than a handful of these conversations are negative in nature.
Yes, working for an organization that provides enjoyment and memories for countless Minnesotans is often satisfying, fulfilling, and fun! However, it doesn’t come without its challenges, as many of you know. To give you a better sense of what it is like to be a park or trail manager, we polled our staff to understand what are the best and most challenging aspects of their jobs.