Changing of the guard at Fort Worden

PORT TOWNSEND — Fort Worden, nearing the end of its centennial year, is entering a new era.

Kate Burke starts work today as the first park manager in the organization’s history who is not a commissioned ranger.

Burke, 41, arrived in town Sunday from Greenville, Ohio, where she worked as a parks and recreation consultant for a private company, Leon Younger and PROS. She was hired in September to replace Jim Farmer, who is retiring after 11 years.

Although Burke hasn’t worked in the state parks systems, she did come up through the ranks, going from registration and customer service at a municipal parks system in Ohio to marketing director of the Indianapolis parks department. She started private consulting in 1995.

In that job, she traveled throughout the country, advising park and recreation managers on comprehensive and strategic planning that helped them apply for funding and grants.

“We approached planning as a community-driven process,” Burke said.

Burke said she applied for the Fort Worden job because she felt it was the right moment in her career to try something different. She and her husband also fell in love with Washington state during a vacation five years ago.

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The rest of the story appears in the Monday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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