Meg Guy formally announced as Roan Mountain State Park manager

Published 3:20 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2018

As an active runner, Meg Guy knows the importance of finishing a race.

Wednesday was all about the passing of the baton with Guy being formally introduced as Roan Mountain State Park’s newest park manager during a reception held on site, hosted by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Various local leaders from across the state were in attendance to learn more about Guy’s vision and the park.

During the ceremony, Guy, a three-year participant in the Boston Marathon, praised the success of previous managers and stated her goal is to continue the tradition.

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“This is really like the passing of the baton,” she said. “My job is to take the baton and keep up the race. Not lose sight of our ultimate goal.”

Guy has been part of the Roan Mountain community since 2011, serving as seasonal interpretive ranger and park ranger. Part of her goal in the new position is to keep up the family dynamic and work closely alongside staff and the community to continually bolster the park’s economic, tourism and environmental presence for residents and visitors.

“This isn’t just a job, it’s our home,” she said. “This is a large responsibility I don’t take lightly. My goal is to cultivate a keener eye and work on the little tweaks here and there on details we can use to improve the park.

“My most important role is to listen,” she said. “Listen to the feedback from staff, community … what and how you feel about the park. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the park staff. We want to make sure we keep this facility in tip-top shape. My job is to support them and help them continue what they do so well.”

Brock Hill, Tennessee State Parks deputy commissioner, praised the efforts of Guy during her time at Roan Mountain, citing her passion for Appalachian culture and the community makes her an ideal fit as the leader of the park.

Before working with Tennessee State Parks, Guy worked as a Wilderness Medicine Instructor in North Carolina and a whitewater rafting guide in Oregon. Guy also worked as an environmental educator in Georgia and helped manage a rafting outpost in her hometown of Benton, Tenn.

From an education standpoint, Guy received a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Tennessee and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Appalachian Studies from ETSU.

With a love of the outdoors, Guy added one of her plans at the park is to expand the outdoor educational activities for area youth and encourage school-aged children to take a passion into the outdoors, and what Roan Mountain has to offer to the community.

Other projects underway at the park includes the preservation of the Miller Farmstead, which first started under previous park manager J.R. Tinch. Guy added the goal is to continue the restoration of the facility, adding the park was recently able to restore the barn located near the farmstead.

Other projects on the horizon include new furnishings inside cabins at the park and having beehives on site to promote, which will be used to house bees and later harvest honey to be sold to the general public.

Guy shared that beekeeping is one of her passions. Guy and her father, who surprised the park manager, along with her mother, for the ceremony, are active into the study of bees.

Roan Mountain State Park serves as the largest employer in Roan Mountain and welcomes thousands each year with its scenic views, programs and other activities.

Guy was quick to thank each member of the staff for their work and thanked attendees for making the trip to the event.

“It’s not about Meg Guy, it’s about Tennessee State Parks and Roan Mountain,” she said about the event. “You recognize the value of what we do here and I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedules to visit.”