Dan Fowley, Grounds Superintendent, Albemarle County
Your job title is Grounds Superintendent. What, in your own words, would you say you do?
My title as Ground Superintendent encompasses many responsibilities for the County of Albemarle. I currently manage the landscaping, mowing, and snow removal operations for five local government facilities which includes two office buildings (McIntire, 5th Street), two fire stations (Monticello, Hollymead), the County Courthouse at Court Square, and the new Crozet Library and adjacent streetscape with several new facilities coming on-line this year. Some of my other duties include the management of our entrance corridor mowing program, storm water facility maintenance, E911 road sign maintenance, and street light requests.
What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?
The best part of my position is being able to proved quality services for our employees and citizens. The work I manage helps provide everything from a safe place for folks to enjoy their lunch under a shade tree on the front lawn to citizens and out of town visitors getting to their destination within the County.
One of the more difficult aspects of my position is trying to complete the volume of tasks with which I am faced. I enjoy the variety of all the different things that I do I just wish I had more control over the rate at which I receive them; much of which is driven by the external sources. The difficulty is accepting that I cannot get everything done all of the time.
How does your job most directly impact the average person?
The work my staff and I perform is not always obvious until we don’t do it and a lot of the work we do is behind the scenes and not readily apparent to the average person. This includes things like providing snow removal services for our Police and Fire Rescue personnel which supports them in being able to respond to emergencies during inclement weather to maintaining our county-owned stormwater facilities which helps protect local rivers and streams from pollution and flooding.
What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the County?
The most interesting project I have been involved with while working for the County would have to be the development of the McIntire Master Landscape Plan. The plan was developed in 2010, with the help of a local landscape architect, in an effort to preserve the overall tree canopy at the County Office Building on McIntire Road. In doing this, the County is able to manage potential canopy loss by identifying trees that may have reached maturity or have structural defects and compensate this loss of leaf canopy by planting a variety of new trees that will mature as the older ones decline.
What is a little-known fact about you?
I usually take an annual motorcycle trip with my father and brother somewhere in the United States. Most of the trips are somewhere along the east coast and last about a week. The best part of these trips are being exposed to grass roots America as we tend stick to the back roads and avoid populated and developed areas. Here I have learned a great appreciation for all people in this country by being able to experience the many different cultures and ways of life still present in rural America where technology and commercialism have not negatively influenced them.