Smokies ranger honored for service

Kevin M. FitzGerald, deputy superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, recently was presented the U.S. Department of the Interior’s

Meritorious Award, the department’s second-highest honor.   

FitzGerald was recognized for his extraordinary performance of duties during the span of his 33-year National Park Service career and for his outstanding leadership that resulted in exceptional achievements at the Smokies.

One major accomplishment was spearheading a comprehensive $80 million facility rehabilitation program with federal stimulus money. Under extreme time constraints, he established a project team to review and prioritize eligible park projects and then worked collaboratively to streamline the required compliance, scoping, and design work to begin the numerous construction projects.

FitzGerald also crafted a partnership agreement with Great Smoky Mountains Association, the park’s cooperating association that fully funded the construction of the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

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