Please meet Lena Bowen, Program Support Technician at Occoneechee State Park in Southside Virginia.
Lena Bowen (center) Program Support Technician at Occoneechee State Park
Lena, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do, or why you do what you do?
· I am a lifelong resident of Mecklenburg County.
· I have 2 sons and six grandchildren
· Worked 6 1/2 years with Russell Stover’s as a Department supervisor
· Worked 22 years for HR Block Tax Service Company preparing income tax returns
· Began working at Occoneechee State Park in 1996 as a hourly office receptionist
· Hired in 1999 as the first Program Support Technician at Occoneechee State Park
· Received Focus Customer Service awards/recognition each and every year since it began
· Nominated for District Focus Employee of the Year
What do you like most about your job?
This job has been a blessing for me after my husband passed away in 1995. I have worked with so many wonderful and dedicated park employees and truly enjoyed meeting thousands of park guests over the past 15 years.
What do you like least?
I really don't like that the Virginia State Park system has had to do more with less for so many years. That there are not more opportunities for our seasonal personnel to be as fortunate as I have been to find a long term position and career with State Parks.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
· Cooking for my grand children.
· Spending time with my family
· Overseeing my 100 acre farm in Mecklenburg County
· Yard and Garden projects
· Shopping and dining out with my friends
· Tax preparation and keeping current with tax laws and changes
If you have never been to Occoneechee State Park, please stop in and say hello to Lena! For a little bit more about this park, read on…
Situated on the peaceful shore of beautiful John H. Kerr Reservoir, more commonly known as Buggs Island Lake, Occoneechee State Park is great for outdoor fun and relaxation. The park has more than 18 miles of trails that meander through the forest and along the lake’s shore. The trails enable hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders to take in the beauty of Virginia’s Piedmont. Nature lovers can enjoy the wildlife attracted to habitat enhancement plots along the park’s main road. The plots attract various birds, deer and woodland creatures.
Guests can visit the park's visitor center to learn about the Native Americans who once lived in the area. The park takes its name from those natives. And a stroll on land that was once part of Occoneechee Plantation, complete with terrace gardens, helps visitors experience the park land as it was in the 19th century.
Providing 24-hour access Virginia’s largest lake, three boat ramps open the door to 48,000 acres of fishing, boating and aquatic recreation. Eighty eight campsites are available for tent and RV campers. Some sites are right on the shoreline, providing easy fishing and boating access. The park also has 13 cabins that allow guests to enjoy the comforts of home as well as beautiful views of the lake. An equestrian campground with 11 sites and 11 covered horse stalls offers easy access to the park’s trail system. Occoneechee also has picnic areas near the lake, a playground, boat rentals and a lakefront amphitheater.
Occoneechee State Park, 1192 Occoneechee Park Road, Clarksville, VA 23927-9449; phone, (434) 374-2210; email, occoneechee. Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or emailresvs. Be sure to specify the park of interest.
Thank you Lena for all you do making guests experiences memorable!