Phillips to Serve as Superintendent at Mayo River State Park


Jessica Phillips, a 12-year employee of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, is the new superintendent at Mayo River State Park in Rockingham County. Phillips succeeds Keith Martin, who retired as superintendent earlier this year.

A superintendent is the chief of operations and administration at a state park or recreation area and has wide-ranging responsibilities for staffing, training, law enforcement, visitor services, natural resource protection, community outreach and environmental education.

Mayo River State Park opened to the public in 2010 and encompasses 2,700 acres with several accesses along a 16-mile river corridor. The park served 95,000 visitors in 2019 and has already welcomed over 165,000 people in 2020. Hiking along the river and fishing are common activities at the park. A master plan for the park is still under development and will include river access, camping, and other amenities.

A native of Chicago, Ill., Phillips graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in biology, and N.C. State University with a Master of Science in parks, recreation, sport, and tourism management. In her career prior to joining the Division of Parks and Recreation, she served five years in the United States Marine Corps, including two deployments to Iraq.

Phillips joined the division as a park ranger in 2008 at Kerr Lake State Recreation Area. After six years, she was promoted to serve as a park ranger at William B. Umstead State Park. Phillips pioneered the division’s “Ask a Ranger Podcast” in 2017 with fellow ranger Crystal Lloyd.

“Jessica’s experience with our state parks in the Piedmont will be a great asset as she leads Mayo River State Park,” said John Fullwood, acting director of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. “I look forward to seeing what her creativity, initiative and vision will bring to the park under her leadership.”

Phillips looks forward to what’s ahead in her new role. “I’m looking forward to working with Mayo River State Park’s cohesive, remarkable team and reaching out to the community,” Phillips said. “Connecting with the community will be an important part of my role as superintendent as we move forward with Mayo River State Park’s master plan.” 

About North Carolina State Parks
North Carolina State Parks manages more than 232,000 acres of iconic landscape within North Carolina’s state parks, state recreation areas and state natural areas. It administers the N.C Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, including its local grants program, as well as a state trails program, North Carolina Natural and Scenic Rivers and more, all with a mission dedicated to conservation, recreation and education. The state parks system welcomes more than 18 million visitors annually.

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