Johnston to manage Chippokes State Park
Published 11:59 am Friday, February 9, 2024
Trevor Johnston recently became the new park manager at Chippokes State Park.
Born and raised on the white beaches of South Florida, Johnston spent his youth traveling the country with his family.
“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 said. “l fell in love with the rich history and beautiful vistas of Virginia and knew this is where I wanted to live and work.”
It was here in Virginia that he would take his first steps into the field of working for parks, taking an internship with the National Park Service right out of high school, spending several months providing interpretation at the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Johnston would then follow his family to Georgia, where he attended Georgia Southern University, earning a bachelor of history, specializing in American history, museum studies and communications.
In Georgia, he led interpretation at Fort McAllister State Historic Park, the site of several naval battles and the final barrier for Gen. Sherman’s capture of the city of Savannah during the Civil War. Once Johnston made his move to Virginia, he spent time working at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, where he frequently interpreted trades such as blacksmithing, farming, and even distilling at George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill.
“I have enjoyed working for several institutions whose goals were focused on the preservation and education of environmental and cultural spaces,” Johnston said.
Trevor then worked at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., working alongside the Director of Events as the primary coordinator for National Geographic’s Virtual Reality initiatives, finding new ways to bring guests around the world in the virtual space.
Eventually Trevor found that, although working in the nation’s capital for an environmental organization was rewarding, he realized he missed working in the field of state parks most of all. He made it his next career goal to find a job with Virginia State Parks and in the summer of 2023, coming to Chippokes as its assistant manager.
“My degree and experiences finally led me back to Virginia State Parks,” Johnston said. “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.”
Johnston said he was promoted to park manager in September.
“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,” he said. “I am excited to continue working hard to improve the park and its role in the local community of Surry.”
Chippokes State Park offers visitors the chance to experience a farm and forestry museum tour or participate in one of the park’s many programs.
Visit virginiastateparks.gov for more information about upcoming events at Chippokes State Park as well as events at other park locations.