Cabarrus County’s Byron Haigler was named Non-Sworn Park Ranger of the Year by the Park Ranger Institute. In bestowing this honor, the Park Ranger Institute cited Haigler’s quick advancement, his innovative ideas and his commitment to service – all while battling and overcoming Cancer.
Haigler, 25, is a park program manager for Cabarrus County Parks and is the youngest board member in the Institute’s 34-year history. He was hired by Cabarrus County Parks in 2009 as a part-time park ranger and earned a promotion as senior park ranger in 2010 and park program manager in 2011.
“Byron is a very dedicated young professional who has brought new ideas, programs, and enthusiasm to our department,” said Cabarrus County Parks Director Londa Strong. “He is the first one to volunteer to go to training sessions and workshops. He wants to learn and be involved and has been an inspiration to all he comes in contact with.”
Haigler has been instrumental in implementing several aquatic and nature based programs at Cabarrus County’s Camp Spencer Park. He also developed park programs for Boy Scout troops and worked with staff to build a group camping site at the park. As a merit badge counselor, he provides scout troops with hands-on training to earn merit badges for lashing, fire building and cooking, orienteering and other outdoor survival skills. Haigler also is a volunteer with the Carolina Thread Trail’s trail development school project and helped to build a one-mile section of the trail.
Originally from Union County, N.C., Haigler holds a bachelor’s degree in ecology and environmental biology from Appalachian State University. He worked at Grandfather Mountain State Park in Linville, N.C. while attending college.