Chippokes State Park, a renowned destination for outdoor enthusiasts, has announced the appointment of Trevor Johnston as its new park manager.
Johnston, with a rich background in outdoor recreation and historical interpretation, steps into this role with a vision to enhance the park’s offerings and visitor experience.
Born and raised on the white beaches of South Florida, Johnston’s passion for the outdoors was kindled early by his family’s travels to State and National Parks across the United States.
This exposure to America’s natural and historical treasures shaped his career path and personal ethos. “I’m grateful that my parents were constantly encouraging me and my siblings to get outdoors and visit as many State and National Parks as we could,” Johnston remarked, highlighting the foundational role his upbringing played in his career choice.
Johnston’s professional journey in park management began immediately after high school with an internship at the National Park Service in Virginia. This early experience, focused on providing interpretation at the National Mall and Memorial Parks, laid the groundwork for his future endeavors.
Pursuing higher education, Johnston moved to Georgia, where he attended Georgia Southern University. There, he earned a Bachelor of History, specializing in American History, Museum Studies, and Communications. His academic pursuits complemented his career, particularly during his time leading Interpretation at Fort McAllister State Historic Park in Georgia, a site of significant Civil War naval battles.
Johnston’s career trajectory took him back to Virginia, where he worked at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. His role involved interpreting historical trades, a testament to his commitment to preserving and educating the public about environmental and cultural spaces.
A stint at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., saw Johnston coordinating Virtual Reality initiatives, a role that underscored his innovative approach to environmental education. Despite the rewarding experience, Johnston felt a strong pull towards state parks, leading him to Virginia State Parks.
In the summer of 2023, Johnston began his tenure at Chippokes State Park as the Assistant Manager. His dedication and hard work during this period were instrumental in his promotion to park manager in September. Johnston’s goal as manager is to increase park visitation by sharing the park’s stories, creating new events, and enhancing current programs to improve visitor experiences.
“My degree and experiences finally led me back to Virginia State Parks,” said Johnston. “I spent my first six months working hard to improve the park then I spent the second half of my first year going through a police academy where I trained to become a Law Enforcement Ranger,” said Johnston.
“I was promoted to park manager in September, and I am excited to increase park visitation by sharing the park’s stories as well as work with staff to create new events and build upon current programs to make each guest’s visit a positive one. I am excited to continue working hard to improve the park and its role in the local community of Surry.”
For more information about Chippokes State Park and upcoming events, visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.
Featured image from Virginia State Parks / Bill Crabtree, Jr., Va. Tourism Corp.