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Bowers Named Superintendent at Carvers Creek State Park

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Roy Cooper, Governor
Susi H. Hamilton, Secretary
Release Note: 
Katie Hall
Release Date: 
Thursday, March 14, 2019

Bowers Named Superintendent at Carvers Creek State Park

Raleigh, N.C. – Colleen Bowers has been named superintendent of Carvers Creek State Park in Cumberland County, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. She succeeds Jane Connelly, who recently retired after 20 years of service to the division. Colleen has served as acting superintendent at Carvers Creek since Connelly’s retirement. 

A superintendent is the chief of operations and administration at a state park or state recreation area with wide-ranging responsibilities for staffing, training, law enforcement, visitor services, natural resource protection and management, community outreach and environmental education.

A native of Lexington, N.C., Colleen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor of science in biology and concentration in environmental studies. She joined the Division of Parks and Recreation in 2009 as a seasonal employee in environmental education at Haw River State Park. The next year, Colleen joined Carvers Creek State Park as a ranger and has served there ever since. Her leadership in prescribed fire at the park earned an award for her team in 2018 for excellence in environmental management using prescribed fire.

“Colleen brings great energy to Carvers Creek,” said Dwayne Patterson, state parks director. “She has shown great dedication to providing the best education and environmental management possible. We look forward to what her leadership will bring to one of our newer parks.”

Carvers Creek State Park opened to the public in 2013 and encompasses 4,347 acres. It recorded 53,940 visitors in 2018. Centered on Long Valley Farm, the historic retreat of a Rockefeller family member, the park offers tours of historic buildings, hiking, picnicking, and continues to develop recreation opportunities. The dam that once allowed for fishing at the park was washed out by a severe flood in 2016. Work will begin soon on its reconstruction. 

As Colleen looks ahead to her responsibilities as superintendent, her vision for the park is clear: “I want Carvers Creek to be a place where the surrounding community can come and enjoy the rare natural resources that the park has to offer and enjoy it as a place to relax, exercise and enjoy time with family.” 

About North Carolina State Parks
North Carolina State Parks manages more than 237,000 acres of iconic landscape within North Carolina’s state parks, state recreation areas and state natural areas. It administers the N.C Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, including its local grants program, as well as a state trails program, North Carolina Natural and Scenic Rivers and more, all with a mission dedicated to conservation, recreation and education. The state parks system welcomes more than 19 million visitors annually.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit