By GINA KINSLOW
Glasgow Daily Times
Patrick Reed is no stranger to south central Kentucky.
Reed has visited the area several times for various reasons.
But this is the first time he has had the opportunity to call south central Kentucky home.
Reed is the new superintendent of Mammoth Cave National Park and, after only being on the job for three weeks, he likes it here.
“It’s been great. People are very warm, very receptive and friendly,” he said.
Reed is excited about working at Mammoth Cave.
“It’s one of the premiere parks in the United States and (it’s) got a great staff out there,” he said. “I’m just delighted to be here.”
Reed is a 36-year career veteran of the National Park Service. He transferred to Mammoth Cave from Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Tennessee, where he served as superintendent for 14 years.
He began his career with the National Park Service while still in college at Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota as a seasonal maintenance worker in 1969.
Reed has worked several national parks including Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park in Missouri, Death Valley National Park in California, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in Missouri, Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and Natchez Trace Parkway which passes through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.
He is a 1971 graduate of Iowa State University and holds a bachelor of science degree in resource development for outdoor recreation.
Reed has no plans to make any immediate changes at the park.
“I (want to) get a better feel for the issues and the operations. I do want to work close with the communities that are neighboring the park, and I’m certainly concerned about protecting the resources for future generations, which is our primary mission, but that also includes providing access to the park,” he said. “We’re working with people who are interested in access for a variety of activities, whether they be scientists or cavers, or whether they are riding bicycles or horses or doing other things. We want to work with them and try to provide an opportunity for them to enjoy the park in their own special way.”
A reception to welcome Reed to the area was held Tuesday night at the Cave City Convention Center.
Prior to the reception, Reed met with Cave City Mayor Bob Hunt for more than hour to talk about the city’s future relationship with Mammoth Cave.
“We had a nice talk. Just by talking to him, I believe he wants to be a part of the community and he understands he has a large community. I think this area would benefit from him being here,” Hunt said. “I feel he wants to be a partner.”
Reed and his wife, Darit, have two daughters, Shannon and D.J., who live in Colorado. They also have two grandsons.
GINA KINSLOW can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (270) 678-5171, ext. 230.
By GINA KINSLOW