Tyson Phillips will be the first superintendent of Pisgah View State Park, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. The park was authorized in 2019, but the lands will remain closed to the public while the park is planned, facilities are constructed and staff is hired. The Division estimates that the lands will open as a state park in 2025.
Located in Buncombe and Haywood counties in the town of Candler, the site of the future state park is just 16 miles southwest of Asheville.
A state park superintendent leads operations and administration of a park and has wide-ranging responsibilities including staffing, planning, environmental education, natural resources management, law enforcement and visitor services.
Phillips began his career with the division in 2009 as a park ranger at Chimney Rock State Park. Prior to joining the division, he graduated from UNC-Pembroke with a bachelor's degree in parks and recreation management. He went on to work for Buncombe County’s parks and recreation department and served as a N.C. Wildlife Resources officer.
State parks in the west district look forward to the new park providing more recreation opportunities for the millions of visitors seeking outdoor activities in the foothills and mountains each year. “Tyson’s decades of work as a ranger and familiarity with the area, particularly Buncombe County, will be great assets as he leads this new park,” said West District Superintendent Sean McElhone. “His expertise in natural resources and education will help establish strong connections between the new park and surrounding communities.”
Phillips is originally from Candler, N.C., and was inspired to work as a ranger after attending a school field trip led by a park ranger. The new superintendent expects challenges as the division prepares to open the park to the public. “There is a ton of work to be done as we turn these lands into a state park in its infancy,” he said. “This coupled with the public’s anticipation for its use may prove particularly challenging.”
Despite the challenges ahead, Phillips looks forward to serving the community and highlighting the park’s natural resources and rich history. “I look forward to providing recreation and education for families to make memories that will last a lifetime,” he said. “I know people will be anxious to visit the park, and I hope to provide safe hiking opportunities as quickly as possible when the park is open.”
Equinox is contracted to lead the park’s master planning process, which will launch this fall. The process includes gathering information about the lands and facilities, identifying the best areas for recreation and new facilities and working with park neighbors and N.C. residents to identify recreation and conservation priorities for the park. The public process will include public meetings and online surveys. Interested parties can keep up with the process at ncparks.gov/state-parks/pisgah-view-state-park.
About North Carolina State Parks
North Carolina State Parks manages more than 257,000 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 22.7 million visitors annually.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.
NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, three science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 41 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the N.C. Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, and the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please visit www.ncdcr.gov.