Roughly 10,000 years ago, water from melting glaciers began to carve out what is known today as the Illinois, Kaskaskia and Ottawa Canyons of Starved Rock State Park. Meet Jolyn Wise, a Natural Resources Coordinator, who now has the job of her dreams.
About 10,000 years ago when the glaciers melted, that water came down through the Starved Rock area and carved out all of the rock formations that you find here at Starved Rock. My name is Jolyn. I am the Natural Resources Coordinator here at Starved Rock. I have worked here at Starved Rock for the past 13 years. I started with the maintenance crew at the time as it was the only job available. I wanted in, so I went ahead and took that position.
When I get here at eight o'clock in the morning, I [perform] a daily conditions report. I make sure to add whether or not we have waterfalls running in the park, so that visitors as they walk in the front door, [can see that first thing]. At nine o'clock we open up the building. Many times we'll do a guided tour during the day. At one o'clock, I'll lead a guided tour for the general public. When we do that, we talk about the flora and fauna, the history of the park, the trail system and how to get around [the park]. It's working with the public, it's education and leading the guided tours. [I like] seeing the looks on people's faces when they see the canyon for the first time, or when they learn about the turkey vultures and the disgusting habits that they have. It's just so exciting, I definitely [love] working with the public.
Yes, we have to have teamwork. We all have to work together, we have to have communication and know what each [other] is doing. [We have to] do the best that we can for the visitors that we have coming in. It's pretty exciting to be able to come out here [every day]. You never know what the day might bring. You never know what you're going to see out here. You never know what wildlife or what bird you might see on a day-to-day basis, so it's exciting. The reason that I do what I do at Starved Rock is for the love of nature, and the love of working with and educating the public. We want them to have the best experience possible when coming to Starved Rock.