All Parks Need a Guy Like Lloyd

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The family and I recently visited Tallulah Gorge State Park in northern Georgia and we had a fantastic visit. We hiked down the seemingly endless steps into the gorge, took in the scenic views, and experienced some stunning waterfalls. It’s a fantastic natural treasure in the state of Georgia.

And some of the people there are treasures too—like Lloyd. As we left the visitors center, I noticed a park employee changing out the trash receptacles. He stopped to ask me if I enjoyed my hike that day. In the space of five minutes, he then asked the same question to everyone that walked by. In some cases he gave directions or answered questions that visitors had about other sights or trails in the area. I saw that after a brief chat with Lloyd, a few people that were obviously weary from hiking up too many steps change their demeanor and break into a broad grin. The thought that occurred to me was that all parks need a guy like Lloyd.

Sure, we greet folks at the front counter, hand out maps, and tell them to enjoy their day—but to have an exit survey is a useful tool. Just someone to ask them how their walk went, what they saw, or to let them know what else they can see in the area. It adds a nice conclusive chapter to an otherwise enjoyable day. I know it’s not easy today with reduced staff levels and budget cuts to have a person at the exit, but it sure goes a long way to have someone who can acknowledge visitors and their experience at your facility. Good job Lloyd.

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