Personnel note: Chuck Hatcher named acting Director at Florida State Parks
Vern Buchanan wants the Little Manatee River gets the recognition as a national treasure. Image via Florida State Parks.

Little Manatee River
Hatcher previously served as the Division’s Assistant Director of Field Operations.

Chuck Hatcher is now the acting Director of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Recreation and Parks.

Hatcher has worked at DEP since March 2016 as Assistant Director of Field Operations for the Division of Recreation and Parks.

He previously served as Director of Parks and Recreation in Jackson County, where he received numerous awards including the Excellence in Leadership Award presented by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.

During his 10-year tenure in the Jackson County post, Hatcher oversaw improvements in park facilities and substantial revenue growth at the department’s top attractions. When DEP scooped him up, revenues from Blue Springs visitation had grown to the point that it could cover the costs of the entire department.

His selection for acting Director earned praise from the Florida State Parks Foundation, a direct-support organization that advocates and fundraises to support the state parks system.

“The Foundation is delighted that Chuck Hatcher has been named acting Director,” said Florida State Parks Foundation President Tammy Gustafson. “We have worked closely with Chuck and the award-winning Florida Park Service’s senior management team for many years. Together we have secured many memorable successes and we look forward to achieving even greater things in the future.”

Hatcher succeeds Eric Draper, who retired as Recreation and Parks Director earlier this month after four years in the position. Before leading the division, Draper spent his career working for the Audubon Society, serving as Executive Director from 1999 through 2017.

The Florida Park Service is one of the largest state parks departments in the country, with 175 state parks, trails and historic sites spanning nearly 800,000 acres of land and 100 miles of coastline.

Staff Reports


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