MEET YOUR PARK RANGERS
Joe developed a love for nature and the outdoors very early in his childhood. A descendant from a long line of civil servants, coupled with his love for wildlife and the outdoors, Joe decided early on he was going to be a ranger someday. In 1979 Joe began working for the CCC under the direction of the California Department of Forestry. As a CDF certified hand crew fireman, mostly in southern California, Joe later led hand-crews into fires to cut fire breaks on notable fires such as Mt. Wilson, Cojon Pass and the Berkeley Hills fire of 1991. Also attached to the Department of Fish and Game 201 project, he worked stream clearance in northern California’s redwood forest to restore salmon habitat. In 2001, Joe graduated from the law enforcement academy in Mount Vernon, WA and in 2002 Completed his ATA degree in Parks Operations and Maintenance. In February of 2007, Joe was hired as a Park Ranger here with the Snohomish County Parks Department. He loves God, family, the USA, fishing and hunting.
Chelsea spent eight of her first ten years of life in Central California, but the beauty of the northwest (and her parents) brought her to Washington. At the age of 18, Parks piqued her interest and she landed a seasonal park aide job at Rasar State Park near Concrete, WA. From there she moved on to Bay View State Park, then on to Deception Pass State Park. Apparently the two-week limit applies to seasonal employees as well as campers. She knew she wanted an “awesome career” as a Park Ranger, so she attended Skagit Valley College where she completed the Parks Law Enforcement Academy and earned an Associate’s degree in Environmental Conservation. Chelsea earned her Sheriff’s commission in 2013 and has been providing care and interpretive guidance at the Narbeck Wetland Sanctuary. Her hobbies include snowboarding, hiking, backpacking, scuba diving, skim boarding and road tripping. Her favorite hike so far is to Park Butte in the Mount Baker Wilderness Area.
Jeanne Blackburn was born and raised in Orange County, California (yes, the OC) and moved to the NW in 1978. After graduating from the U-dub with a B.S. in Park Management, she moved back to the OC in 1983. With degree in hand and recession in full swing, she landed a seasonal position with Orange County Harbors, Beaches & Parks. Having worked there seven years, she decided it was time to move back to the great NW. She held positions with Seattle Parks & Recreation and the Edmonds Beach Ranger Program before finding a home in 1991 with Snohomish County Parks. Positions held with Snohomish County include; Off-Road Vehicle Coordinator, Recreation Supervisor, Park Ranger and currently Senior Park Ranger. Jeanne enjoys reading, baking, spending time with family, and of course visiting family in the OC. Her favorite TV show is (you guessed it) not The OC.
Since 1992, I’ve been a Park Ranger in Snohomish County Parks South Region, where I share information about our Pacific Coast Forest ecosystem and the marine creatures of the Salish Sea. I graduated from the Edmonds Community College School of Horticulture, which excelled in the study of native plants and trees, habitat restoration, and landscaping. I’m also a graduate of the WSU Beach Watchers environmental education program, and attend ongoing training in the study of all things related to the marine ecosystem. As an active steward of the environment, I’m deeply involved with the Adopt-A- Stream foundation—attending classes and participating in salmon habitat restoration projects throughout the year.
Growing up in San Diego, Nick spent most of his time in the mountains and not at the beach. He worked for a public relations company while in high school and college and quickly discovered a cubicle was not for him. After receiving his B.A. in Geography (with an emphasis in Environmental Policy and Natural Resources) through San Diego State University, Nick worked a variety of positions with the City of San Diego, Forest Service and the City of Santa Cruz. In 2008 he headed north to join the good folks at Snohomish County Parks.
Howdy! Jake grew up in Western Washington, where he enjoyed fishing, building tree forts, and exploring any space green. Little did he know that this love for all things outdoors were the building blocks of a career. Upon completing High School, Jake attended Central Washington University, where he studied Geography and Recreation Management—graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in the latter. He worked through his collegiate years at the campus’s Recreation Center and volunteered with the Ellensburg and Selah Parks Departments. Jake’s start as a paid steward of the land began as a seasonal Ranger Assistant with the City of Bellevue. He was hired by Snohomish County as a full-time Park Ranger Assistant in 2013. Jake still fishes whenever he can, hikes wherever he can, and is always up for a game of chess (indoors or out).
David graduated from Western Washington U. with a B.A. in History & Social Studies at the worst possible time (Dec. 2008). So he fled to the few places in the world that would pay him (Asia, Africa, and Europe) to teach English. After sixteen months of world travel, David returned to the Pacific Northwest. Of course, there was still no one there willing to pay him. So he moved to Las Vegas and volunteered with AmeriCorps, where he learned to cut down trees in the desert. He finally found a paying gig in the Northwest at a Seattle-area health club. He began by teaching children to swim, and eventually moved up to managing the club. Realizing he was not shrewd enough (nor possessing the black heart) for the corporate world, David happily becam e a Park Ranger Assistant for Snohomish County Parks & Recreation in May of 2013.
Matthew Hawkins grew up in Arlington Washington, and worked for Snohomish County Parks as a seasonal park aid for five summers. In May of 2013, Matt was hired on as a full time Park Ranger Assistant. What he loves most about working for the parks department is the opportunity to work outdoors and help provide a safe, fun place for people to relax. In his spare time Matt enjoys camping, fishing, hunting, and traveling.
Parks have always been in my blood. I love to explore local, State and National Parks. In fact, I was born in a park in Seattle. I was born at Fort Lawton Army Hospital, which is now Discovery Park. As a child I lived close to Picnic Point Park (where my Dad was a caretaker for many years) and Meadowdale Beach Park. As a young boy, my Dad used to take me hiking in Lund’s Gulch long before it became Meadowdale Beach Park. Later in life I began my full time career with Snohomish County Parks as the first Park Ranger at Meadowdale. I am very proud to have been working with Snohomish County Parks my entire career. I worked as a seasonal Park Aide for a season and then worked as a Park Ranger for two seasons. I was an on-site ranger/caretaker for 13 years. I served as a Park Ranger for 19 years and then became the Park Operations Supervisor in 2006. We have a great staff here at Snohomish County Parks which makes our department a great place to work at. I graduated from the Skagit Valley College Parks Law Enforcement Academy in 1994. I have been on the academy’s board of advisors since 2007. I enjoy Landscape Photography, I spend a lot of time behind the camera. I am an avid hiker and mountaineer. I have summited Mt Rainer, Mt Adams and Mt Baker, along with several minor peaks in Washington and Oregon. I love bicycling and have even done the STP as a one-day rider. I just can’t wait to get outside!
Emily grew up in the small logging town of Darrington WA, where she developed her passion for the outdoors, wildlife, and hiking. Upon graduating from Darrington High school,she attended Eastern Washington University where she studied topics such as wilderness survival, search and rescue, leave no trace, and back-country camping and travel, which solidified her desire to work in the parks department. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation with an emphasis in Anthropology and Culture in 2016. Emily’s work experience with Snohomish County started at the age of 16 at Squire Creek County Park. Before being hired full time she worked for the department for six seasons at various parks. Emily wakes up every day with excitement to be a part of a team that loves nature, helps people, and protects God’s beautiful creation. In her spare time Emily loves paddle boarding, cross country skiing, backpacking, and woodworking.
Having been raised in the Great Pacific Northwest, Ranger Meshke has many wonderful childhood memories of Snohomish County Parks: Swimming and camping at Squire Creek Park, rafting the Stillaguamish River at River Meadows Park, jumping into the salt water waves at Kayak Point Park, and polar bear swims in Lake Goodwin at Wenberg Park, to name a few. He began working for Snohomish County as a seasonal Ranger Assistant in 2007 and was hired as a full-time Park Ranger in 2008. He hopes that the work he does will help provide those same happy memories he has, to those who visit the Parks today.
Mike Remle grew up in Arlington Washington and began his Parks career while still in high school, working as a seasonal Park Aide. After high school he joined the U.S. Navy—first serving as a steel worker in the SEABEES and finishing up in the U.S. Naval Reserves as a religious program specialist. While back home in Washington, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Outdoor Recreation at Eastern Washington University. Over the years, Mike’s job experience has greatly expanded—from seasonal Park Aide, to Parks Facility Maintenance Worker, to commissioned Park Ranger, to Senior Park Ranger (in 2007). As a Senior Park Ranger, Mike manages the county’s northwest region and is currently assigned at Kayak Point County Park. When he’s not working, Mike enjoys landscape photography, upland bird hunting, and traveling.
Hi I am Jerry Smith, your friendly Senior Park Ranger from Region 4. Contrary to what some people think, I did graduate from Everett High School, and Everett Community College, and Western Washington University—the last of which with a degree in Parks and Recreation. While in school I worked on a fire suppression crew in Darrington, Washington, for the U.S. Forest Service. I’ve been a Snohomish County Park Ranger for over 35 years, of that a Senior Ranger for over 25 Years. I like long walks on the beach, looking at the full moon, watching the History Channel, petting cats and dogs, and admiring the office staff from afar!
I started with Snohomish County parks in 2006, building trails on National Trails Day as a volunteer. I spent two summer seasons as a Park Ranger assistant before becoming a full time Park Ranger in 2007. Since then I’ve had the privileged opportunity to work in four of the County’s five park regions. Every day in parks for me is a chance to meet new people, have an exciting life experience, and teach or show someone what the great outdoors has to offer!
I love Mountain biking, climbing, geocaching and camping. That said, having trained at the Sno-Isle Skills Center in Everett, WA, I felt destined to a lengthy career in the machine trades. But three years of toiling in the sweat shops changed my perspective—toiling in the great outdoors looked a lot better. So began my Snohomish County career—slinging garbage and cleaning restrooms as a part-time Park Aide. Determined to do more, I attended the Monroe Reserve Police Academy, earning my Sheriff’s commission and Park Ranger position. Now, twenty-five years later, I look back with great satisfaction. I still sling garbage and clean restrooms, but it has been, and truly is, a pleasure serving the public in this wild and natural landscape we call Snohomish County.
In the days prior to continental drift, Kathryn wanted to be an engineering draftsman. But a part-time job in retail made her discover that what she really enjoyed was interacting with people. She saw the light, and it was good. And so began her career with Snohomish County Parks. It started at Kayak Point as a summer job, which quickly became a full-time Ranger job. In time she became a Senior Ranger, and has now been bossing people around (in a good way) for over 25 years. Working all the elements of parks—from camping, fishing, boat launches, dog parks, wild life sanctuaries, and especially multi-user trails—Kathryn believes parks are here for us to recreate and rejuvenate. Come, enjoy the fresh air, spend quality time with friends and family, marvel at the flora and fauna, and return to your communities refreshed and productive members of society. Kathryn enjoys the challenges of serving her communities. She sits on several special advisory boards, elected positions and loves supporting her Rotary Club. Hobbies include travel, dancing, skiing, volunteering, reading and especially bossing (pampering) her West Highland Terrier, “Buddy”.
Joe was born and raised in the small town of Woodinville WA or at least it was a small town back then. Before it became a city, Woodinville was very rural with many outdoor activities. This is where Joe found a love for the outdoors and a connection with the environment. Camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and picnics are common family activities for him. When his wife isn’t dragging him to different running events, 5K’s, 10K’s, ½ marathons, Joe enjoys grilling for backyard BBQ’s and entertaining during football games (Go Seahawks!). Hanging around campfires making s’mores with family and friends is a favorite weekend activity. After graduating from Woodinville High School and attending Western Washington University for a short while, Joe started working for the Washington State Liquor Control Board. There he climbed through the ranks over the next 20 years. When the Liquor Control Board ended it provided an opportunity for him to get back to the outdoors which he loved. In 2012 Joe worked as a Park Aide for Snohomish County and in 2014 was hired as a full time Park Ranger Assistant.