The V.I. National Park’s third acting superintendent since the departure of former VINP superintendent Art Frederick brings with her several years of experience with the National Park Service.
VINP Acting Superintendent Martha Bogle, who has been on the job since April 10, has worked in several different capacities at many National Parks throughout the U.S.
“I graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1978, and began my career immediately,” said Bogle. “I started at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a seasonal interpreter, where I did walks and talks in the campgrounds and I worked in the visitor’s center. I worked a number of years at the Smokies before I went to Everglades National Park, then to Great Sand Dunes National Monument.”
Bogle signed on permanently with the National Park Service when she began working as a dispatcher at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1983.
Previous Superintendent Experience
Bogle left the Park Service for one year to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Florida.
“I came back to the Park Service at Blue Ridge Parkway, where I was a generalist ranger, and I also did interpretation and law enforcement there,” said Bogle.
The acting VINP superintendent finally worked her way up when, in 1995, she began a 10-year stint as superintendent at the Congaree National Park.
Bogle then moved back to Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, where she has worked as deputy superintendent for more than one year.
The acting VINP superintendent will be in the Virgin Islands for two to four months, until park officials select a permanent superintendent.
Wonderful Park, Staff
“I was asked by the regional director if I would be interested in coming down here on a detail, and I said, ‘certainly, that would be a wonderful opportunity,’” said Bogle. “I knew it was gorgeous because I’d been here before several years ago. This was a really great opportunity in a wonderful park with a wonderful staff, so I’m glad to be here.”
While Bogle is certainly well-traveled when it comes to National Parks, she can’t choose just one as her favorite, she explained.
“All of them just have incredible qualities,” said Bogle. “As park employees, we get to live and work in some of the most incredible places in the world. Each one of them has its own special beauty and its own special significance.”
“The Virgin Islands is right there with them all, as far as its unique beauty and its very important habitat and natural resources, as well as cultural resources,” Bogle added.
Hoping to Finalize Maho Deal
Bogle has several goals she hopes to accomplish during her tenure as acting VINP superintendent, she explained.
“I’d love to see us work through and finalize the Maho Bay deal,” said Bogle. “I’m not sure if that will be possible, but it would be wonderful.”
In her first three weeks on the job, Bogle has already begun investigating how local trail users can help the park maintain trails. She will not make decisions which could affect the VINP long-term, Bogle explained.
“Certainly I’m not going to make major decisions that will affect the park on a really long-term basis,” said Bogle. “I certainly don’t hesitate to make decisions, but major decisions should be left up to the superintendent who is going to be here on a permanent basis. I don’t want to have a new superintendent come in and have to reverse a decision or have to live with a decision they don’t necessarily agree with, which would affect the park on a real long-term basis.”
Despite her busy schedule, Bogle is enjoying living in VINP housing near Honeymoon Beach, she explained.
“There’s a reef right in front of the house, and right after I get off work, or first thing in the morning, I’m oftentimes snorkeling,” said Bogle. “I’ve seen a four foot nurse shark, barracuda and a variety of all the usual characters you would see virtually anyplace. I haven’t gotten tired of that reef yet.”
Snorkeling, Mingling in Free Time
Bogle also enjoyed mingling with community members at the John’s Folly Learning Institute 11th anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 21, she explained.
“On Saturday, I went to the JFLI anniversary, so I got to meet the first lady (Cecile deJongh), Alvis Christian and Guy Benjamin,” said Bogle. “I met just a number of wonderful people, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
The acting VINP superintendent looks forward to meeting more community members and park employees, she explained.
“I look forward to getting out and meeting folks,” said Bogle. “I have been trying to meet with the staff as a whole, then individually meeting with the division chiefs. I want to learn as much as I can about the VINP, and I also want to get out in the community and meet folks.”
VINP Needs Permanent Superintendent
“I have found everybody here so welcoming and so friendly,” Bogle added.
While Bogle is enjoying her time with the VINP, she hopes the park gets a permanent superintendent soon, she explained.
“Hopefully they’ll fill the position permanently soon, not because I want to leave, but because it’s hard on a community, the partners and the staff to continually have to train us new people and have folks rotating through,” said Bogle. “I think everybody’s ready to have a permanent superintendent, but I’m certainly going to enjoy the time I have here.”