Representatives of Tennessee State Parks (TSP) hosted a reception on Wednesday, July 20, for Joshua Justice, the new park manager for NBF State Park in Eva. The event was held at the NBF Interpretive Center and Museum. Among those attending were NBF employees, members of the group Friends of NBF, Benton County Mayor Brett Lashlee, and TSP officials Mike Roberston, Mike Dobis, and Ryan Forbess.
Justice was named park manager position in March. Due to various commitments and obligations already scheduled for NBF and TSP personnel, an official welcome reception could not be held until recently.
As the new park manager, Justice noted that he wants to expand the park’s outreach programs to the community. “Outreach is my goal. If there is a group or organization that wants me to speak to them about our mission at NBF or topics related to nature and conservation, feel free to contact me and we will schedule it,” he said.
Robertson, Director of Operations for TSP, stated “We’re excited to have Josh in the manager’s position. He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the job and has made it clear that he wants NBF to be an integral part of this community. Knowing the community and its people like he does, we’re excited to see to where his leadership will take NBF in the future.”
Forbess, the Operations Manager for Area 2 of TSP, said, “Josh has worn many hats during his period of employment at NBF, including duties such as seasonal interpretive ranger, supervisor of maintenance personnel, and park ranger. What he learned in all those roles will serve him well as park manager. With his talents and skills, the future looks bright for the growth of educational and recreational opportunities at NBF.”
Lashlee congratulated Justice on his promotion, saying that he would support Justice in any way to promote park programs. “Everyone should know about the opportunities that our state park offers to visitors, not only during tourist season but all year long,” Lashlee said.
Justice said much of the credit for his promotion to manager goes to the support, love, and devotion of his wife Angie, a preschool teacher at Camden Elementary School (CES). “Without her, none of this would be possible,” he said.
The couple has been married almost 25 years, and are the proud parents of sons Cole, Cody, and Coen. An employee with NBF since May 2016, Justice holds a degree in wildlife services and natural resource management from UTM and is a Veteran of the U.S. Navy.
In one of his previous roles at NBF, Justice presented nature-themed programs to students at CES. He wants to continue doing that in the coming school year and also to present programs to students at both Big Sandy and Holladay Schools.
“I am happy and excited to be park manager at the park I’ve served for over six years,” Justice said. “I’m very much at home here surrounded by nature and the outdoors. I get to work with people and kids all day long, and even play with snakes. It’s a dream job!”
Justice said he is very appreciative of the support he’s received since becoming park manager. He thanked his fellow NBF employees for helping to make it a smooth transition and for the work they do each day. He also thanked the Friends group for assisting with so many activities throughout the year. “We have one of the best Friends’ groups that you’ll find anywhere! Anything we ask them to do, they are always willing to help.”
The Friends Group currently is planning for the Eva Beach Music and Arts Festival to be held on Sept. 17. More information on this event can be found on the Friends’ Group Facebook page. For information on other programs or events happening at NBF, visit the park website or Facebook page or call the park office at 731-593-6445.