I’m Lori Bartley. I’ve worked as a Park Interpretation Specialist for Metro Vancouver Regional Parks for the past four years. Here is my story…
Q: What do you love about your job?
A: I love being able to share my enthusiasm for nature in regional parks with visitors in a creative, entertaining and educational way – through nature interpretation programs and events. I want to inspire people to get to know, enjoy and care for parks.
Q: How did you come to decide to pursue a career in this occupation?
A: I grew up with nature as my playground, my father was an avid outdoorsman and I was lucky and smart enough to get a summer job in provincial parks to pay my way through university. From there I was inspired to work in park interpretation.
Q: What are good traits or skills that someone should have when considering this career?
A: Traits to have: you should have a better than average knowledge of the natural history of your area, be curious about nature, really enjoy working with people, know how to develop and deliver an engaging program and be able to share the benefits of getting outdoors and getting to know, appreciate and respect your natural neighbours.
Q: What advice would you give someone considering a career in the Parks Sector?
A: I think that Park Interpretation is a calling as well as a profession. It is challenging to find full time work in this field but if you have the knowledge, skill, enthusiasm and determination you can do it.
Q: Do you have any hiring practices tips to share?
A: Volunteer – one of the best ways to get experience in interpretive programming is to volunteer at a park that offers nature programs. While working or volunteering, be sure to accumulate a portfolio. You want to provide samples of what you have done as well as evaluations of your programs to show a potential employer.