Aug. 8, 2003 – Art Frederick is on tap to become the next V.I. National Park superintendent in late September.
He will succeed John King, who left in May to become superintendent at Big Bend National Park in Texas.
Frederick is currently superintendent at Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia, just north of the Florida state line. It's a post he has held for three years.
The Cumberland and St. John parks have a lot in common. They are both on islands reached mainly by ferry, they both have campgrounds and they offer similar activities.
"Mr. Frederick has done an outstanding job at Cumberland Island," Patricia Hooks, acting southeast region director for the National Park Service, said.
She said he supervised the creation of a mainland museum, the rehabilitation of a historic house to serve as park headquarters, and the completion of plans for a new visitor center on the waterfront of St. Mary's, the mainland city that serves as gateway to Cumberland Island.
Frederick also played a critical role in resource protection and in identifying future management policies for the island, Hooks said.
Park Service spokesman Paul Winegar said from Atlanta that serving as superintendent at Cumberland Island is one of the southeast region's toughest jobs. "There's a lot of political controversy," he said.
A lot of wealthy people have private homes on park inholdings, and the park faces continual conflicts involving environmentalists and people involved in historic preservation, Winegar explained.
Frederick will face similar issues with the V.I. National Park, which includes Hassell Island in the St. Thomas harbor as well as the main parkland and waters of St. John.
"His performance at Cumberland makes him superbly qualified to take on the management challenges at Virgin Islands," Hooks said.
She noted that although the St. John park is smaller in acreage, it gets more than 16 times the number of visitors to Cumberland, has twice the budget, and has nearly three times the number of employees.
Paul Thomas, who heads the V.I. National Park interpretive division, said he is looking forward to having a new boss on board. "It's always nice to have a superintendent," he said.
Frederick is native of Quincy, Florida. He began his park service career at Fort Caroline National Memorial in Jacksonville after graduating from Florida State University with a bachelor's degree in history. He spent four years working as a park ranger at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and 12 years at Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina.
Before transferring to Cumberland Island, he was assistant superintendent at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta. He also served in the U.S. Navy as a member of a special anti-submarine warfare unit.
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