Mark D. Sees
Orlando Wetlands Park
Orlando, Florida

As the Manager of Orlando Wetlands Park for over 20 years, Mark D. Sees not only performed the  daily duties of managing the wetland treatment system, but also proactively sought opportunities to evolve the park into a center of public recreation as well as wetlands education. He has facilitated Eagle Scout Projects at the wetland, spearheaded the creation of the “Friends of the Orlando Wetlands,” a dedicating volunteering group to help managing the Park and interacting with the public, and created the Environmental Education Center at the Wetlands. He also actively engaged in wetland research efforts, assisting graduate students with research by obtaining solar panels to run pumps, building a water distribution system, providing airboat transport, and further lobbying the wastewater division to provide scientists funding in excess of 1 million dollars to help understand and maintain the system.  In 1999, he organized the annual “Orlando Wetland Festival” to provide local children and adults an opportunity to take tours in the wetlands to understand their place in watershed as well as how they filter and remove pollutants from water and protect downstream water bodies. The festival now attract more than 5,000 people each year from the surrounding communities, with a combined attendance of 44,000 over the years, a testimony to his dedication to improving wetland awareness in the Orlando area. He has dedicated himself to creating opportunities for local engagement with the Orlando Wetlands Park and goes above and beyond to be an “ambassador” for the park.