Tucker Rollins, Trail Maintenance Supervisor, Albemarle County
Where were you born (and raised, if different)?
I was born and raised in Chambersburg, PA.
When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?
I moved to Charlottesville about six or seven years ago. My wife and I had been living in Fort Collins, Colorado and we wanted to move back to the east coast to be closer to family/friends. We loved living in Fort Collins and wanted to move to a town that would give us a similar lifestyle (with live music, outdoor recreation, breweries, young people, etc.). My wife grew up in West Virginia and I’m from Pennsylvania. It turned out that Charlottesville was about 3 hours from each of our hometowns. We had heard that Charlottesville was a really happening place and surrounded by a beautiful countryside. We decided this would be the perfect location for us and it has turned out to be an amazing place to live.
What neighborhood do you live in now?
I live in the Martha Jefferson neighborhood.
Family (spouse, kids, etc.)?
I have a lovely wife that works as a Pediatric Speech Therapist with the UVA Children’s Hospital. We don’t have any kids but we do have some nieces and nephews.
What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?
I graduated from Marshall University in 1998 with a BA. I majored in Sociology and earned a minor in Parks/Recreation.
What were you doing before you came to work for the county?
I was working for the City of Fort Collins-Natural Areas Program as a Trail Crew Leader. We were tasked with building and maintaining trails on the city’s vast amount of public land. It was an amazing place to work and allowed me to gain some great experience. I also had a brief stint with the City of Charlottesville Parks Department mowing grass and weed eating.
Your job title is County Trail Maintenance Supervisor—what, in your own words, would you say you do?
The majority of my job is coordinating the maintenance on the county’s 60 miles or so of county park trails. The work is done by county parks staff, various volunteer groups and myself. This includes the reopening of trails after storm events; vegetation control on trail corridors; and maintenance of kiosks, footbridges, trail signs, erosion control, etc. My responsibilities also include the layout and construction of new county park trails, volunteer coordination and representing the Parks Department to various community groups.
What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?
The best part of my job is getting to be outside enjoying nature while I’m at work. A job that includes hiking while on the clock is pretty hard to beat! I also enjoy the people that I work with and I often meet lots of happy folks while out working on our trails.
The worst part of the job would have to be the ticks and the angry off-leash dogs.
How does your job most directly impact the average person?
I provide county residents (and others) places for outdoor recreation, wildlife viewing, tranquility and other experiences with Mother Nature.
What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the county?
Planning, designing and building the trail systems at Preddy Creek and Byrom Forest (our two newest parks) has been very interesting and exciting. We have worked with several different stakeholder groups such as Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club, VA Master Naturalists, Equestrian Groups, etc. to come up with our best plan for these parks. Sometimes it can be a challenge to keep all of the different user groups happy but we do our best. It’s just great to live in a community with so many people that are actively engaged and interested in our public trails.
What is a little-known fact about you?
I play mandolin in the Ragged Mountain String Band.
What do you do outside of work hours—hobbies, etc.?
I love traveling, fly fishing for trout, watching baseball, going to music festivals, playing old-time music and riding my bike to places around town that serve good beer.