MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., December 17, 2020: Bruce Powell, Deputy Superintendent of Mammoth Cave National Park, announces his retirement from the National Park Service (NPS) at the end of December 2020. Powell’s federal career began in 1984 and has taken him around the country for over 36 years of dedicated public service.
“I loved the national parks well before I began my federal career,” said Powell. “I was able to achieve my career goal of working in a variety of national parks and have had the opportunity to see and care for these very special places. After working at fourteen NPS locations in ten states, I have had a very satisfying career and plan to finish out this month with a smile of contentment.”
Powell started his work for the park service as an Editorial Clerk in the Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta, GA and then spent his next five years working in different roles in Administration at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. He then went to the Southwest Regional Office as a Management Analyst before serving as the Superintendent of Golden Spike National Historic Site in northern Utah for six years and earning a Superior Service Honor Award. During this part of his career, he served official details at Cumberland Island National Seashore and Chamizal National Memorial, and Powell also served as the Acting Utah State Coordinator, representing, and assisting 16 national park areas in the Beehive State.
But after many career experiences and many moves, Mammoth Cave has been his primary home. Powell came to Mammoth Cave National Park in 2001, serving as its Deputy Superintendent, a position he and has filled for the last twenty years.
“Bruce has completed a lot of major projects and witnessed many changes during his time with the park service,” said Barclay Trimble, Superintendent. “For the last twenty years at Mammoth Cave, he has been dependable, hardworking and his passion for his job truly shows in how much he cares for this park, its employees, and our many community partners. His institutional knowledge and dedication to the park have been amazing assets that we will definitely miss after he retires.”
Powell advocated and initiated many critical projects at Mammoth Cave over the last 20 years, but is most proud of his work in supporting the achievement of the park’s mission for being established: to preserve the internationally famous Mammoth Cave while providing an opportunity for the public to enjoy it. He fulfilled this mission through projects focused on internal park operations, but also by actively coordinating with the park’s three counties, Edmonson, Hart and Barren, as well as the local communities’ organizations such as their chambers of commerce, tourism bureaus, Caveland Marketing Association, and the Mammoth Cave Biosphere Region. His work has strengthened and built upon these invaluable relationships that are critical to the success of the park and the businesses and organizations around the park.
“Nothing gives me more satisfaction than seeing park visitors get excited as they visit the park,” said Powell. “I likewise get great satisfaction in helping lead and support a superb group of highly dedicated park employees while working collaboratively with so many supportive park partners and community groups that surround Mammoth Cave National Park. I am very grateful for this opportunity.”
For his retirement plans, Powell looks forward to more time with his wife Barbara at their home in Bowling Green, KY, and visits with their daughter Katrina who attends school in Louisville.
A small private reception is being planned to celebrate Bruce’s achievements during the summer of 2021. Well wishes or cards are being collected in advance and may be sent to Mammoth Cave National Park, Attn: Powell Retirement, PO Box 7, Mammoth Cave, KY. Emails may be sent to MACA_PIO@nps.gov.