Leading with a love for the outdoors

Keeping things running smoothly in our Metroparks takes a special dedication to our natural resources, and to you.
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 6:42 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - He started working for Metroparks Toledo when he was 18 years old. And now, as a leader, Brad Navarre says he’s right where he’s meant to be.

Navarre is the Chief of Rangers for Metroparks Toledo. He tells 13abc, “I like the outdoors. As a young kid, I was more hands-on, so I did a lot of maintenance work, a lot of construction when I first started with the Metroparks, a lot of construction work.”

His love for the outdoors is what put him in the middle of nature for his career.

“Look around at what we have, this is my office basically,” says Navarre. “So, I wanted to be outside, and this was a format that I could really dive into.”

But it’s his love for people that’s kept him here for 25 years.

He explains, “I like being out in the field. I’m one of the guys that, I want to be out talking with the public. I want to be out with the park visitors. I still go into the schools a lot.”

Navarre was in high school when he took a seasonal maintenance job with Metroparks Toledo. That was in 1996. Now, 25 years later, he’s still doing what he loves. And he credits his mentors for helping him climb.

“They really pushed me to do better and the Metroparks, in general, have been an awesome place to work,” he says. “Just being a part of it and moving forward, I knew I was in the right spot.”

His spot now: Chief of Rangers. He oversees what happens within the Metroparks.

“You’re only as good as the sum of your parts, correct? So, our ranger staff is amazing,” he tells 13abc. “And they do a lot of work. We want to make sure the parks are safe for everybody to enjoy the Metroparks, we protect our natural resources of course, and the park visitors. It’s not just people in patrol cars.”

And in his 25 years, he’s watched the parks transform Toledo.

He tells 13abc, “I grew up in South Toledo, my family still lives there. So, at the time, we only had one Metropark in Toledo proper, and that was Swan Creek. Now, we have four parks that are within city limits. So, we’re constantly growing.”

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