Award-winning interpreter in our midst at Murphys Point

With another busy summer season of programs about to begin at parks across the province, we wanted to profile one of our award-winning staff members.

Earlier this spring, Mark Read, Senior Naturalist at Murphys Point Provincial Park, won the Sandy McBeath Outstanding Seasonal Interpreter Award. This honour is awarded to one interpreter annually in the Great Lakes Region by the National Association for Interpretation.

An international career

Mark started work as a park ranger in the early 1990s at the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre in his native U.K. He went on to work as a wildlife guide, science teacher, biodiversity field researcher, education advisor and ecotourism lecturer in Thailand, Egypt, the U.K. and Nepal before emigrating to Canada a few years ago.

Mark Read as Foreman Thompson during a Silver Queen Mine Open House (Sundays at Murphys Point in July and August)

Since 2015, Mark’s been sharing his passion for natural and cultural heritage at Murphys Point.

An obsessive birder (is there any other kind?)

Mark’s passion for birding has expanded to include odonates (dragonflies/damselflies) and moths. Having identified over 450 species of moth at Murphys Point over the last few years, Mark shares his discoveries at weekly moth nights.

Mark coordinated local school bioblitzes at Murphys Point this year. Stay tuned for an update on findings!

With live traps set up at a comfort station, Mark invites the evening bathroom crowd to discover the amazing diversity of night-flying insects. One camper commented:

“…we went to the moth night at the comfort station and then returned the following morning to see which moths had entered the trap. My son is eight years old and the presentation sparked his interest in moths. He talked all the way back to the tent about the moths. He’s not an early riser but he had me at the comfort station at 7 a.m., so we wouldn’t miss it. We’ve taken some moth photos since then and we’re looking forward to starting a scrapbook and researching these moths. Thank you so much for the opportunity to expose my children to nature.”

A bit about Mark

Mark loves Marmite, “proper football” and is always in a cracking good mood. His personality, incredible naturalist skills and passion for revealing nature’s diversity shines through in his interpretive programs.

Mark leading an evening nature hike at Murphys Point

When he’s not looking for birds, moths or dragonflies, you might find Mark leading one of the terrific interpretive programs at Murphys Point.

We’re lucky to have him. Congratulations on the award, Mark!