Ramona Arechiga, a Peace Corps volunteer who served in Ethiopia and has a masters degree in forest resources from Oregon State University, is the new -- and the first -- natural resources manager for the San Mateo County Parks Department.
"When I was a teenager growing up in Redondo Beach, I dreamed of working in the coast range of Northern California as a forest ecologist and resource manager," Ms. Arechiga said in a written statement. "The position of Natural Resource Manager ... provides an opportunity to realize that dream."
The Parks Department oversees the operation of 19 parks, including Edgewood, Huddart and Wunderlich parks in Woodside, the Woodside Store, the Coyote Point Recreation Area, and the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. All told, 16,183 acres.
Her Peace Corps work was in the Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia, where she organized public-planting programs in communities adjacent to the park. In Oregon, she focused on restoration of native vegetation using volunteers to do the planting.
She hikes and backpacks with her husband Tracy and their dog, Tsuga. She has two indoor-only cats, Go and Brain, who she rescued from the wild when they were three weeks old.