Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Staff Spotlight: James Politte

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Staff Spotlight: James Politte

Article excerpt

NRPA's headquarters is full of people who are dedicated to conservation and public lands, and James Politte is one of the staff's most passionate champions for nature. By day, he works as the webmaster for NRPA's websites and online resources, and in his free time, he serves as president of a friends group for a 725-acre nature preserve in Loudoun County, Virginia. We caught up with Politte to learn more about his career motivations, his volunteer endeavors and his pervading love for natural spaces.

Parks & Recreation magazine: Tell us a little about your day-to-day job.

James Politte: I work with pretty much all of the departments. Within the organization, Pm not only working on public-facing websites, I also manage the intranet. Another part of my job is the analysis side. I work closely with marketing if they want to track campaigns to help show the return on investment of their efforts. IT generally does things behind the scenes to make things run as smoothly as possible for the user and for staff, and we're always looking at continuous improvement in the service we provide and the ease of use of technology. We also try to bake in some time for creative thought and are constantly scanning other technology resources and other associations to make sure we're keeping up with the latest trends.

P&R: Tell us how your volunteer work at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve complements what you do at NRPA.

Politte: Banshee Reeks is a real gem in Loudoun County that a lot of people around here don't know about. It's got a little bit of everything, from a variety of different butterflies to wild turkey. It has more than 20 miles of trails, and frontage along Goose Creek. In every season, you'll find something there to spark your interest--bluebells in spring, and native wildflowers and grasses in the wildflower meadow.

Friends of Banshee Reeks is a small volunteer organization. We're trying to grow it and increase awareness. I think that work meshes well with what we're doing at NRPA with our pillars in Conservation and Health and Wellness--it offers opportunities for being active, enjoying the outdoors, land management practices and preserving habitat. A lot of people feel you have to travel far to find beauty, but a lot of times it's in your backyard. …

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