Lifelong outdoors interest for new Nature Center supervisor

       When Jamie Bequette was growing up in Missouri, her family went camping frequently. She kept that interest in the outdoors, going on to obtain a bachelor's degree in parks, recreation and tourism from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 2007, and then embarking on a career in that line of work.

Recently hired Bear Creek Nature Center Supervisor Jamie Bequette grew up in Missouri, enjoying outdoor pursuits and turning that interest into a career. She poses above along a trail next to Bear Creek, a short distance from the Nature Center.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Bequette also visited Colorado and enjoyed the experience, not to mention its mountainous natural beauty. Although she liked her most recent job, working as an outreach coordinator for a Kansas City-area county parks department, she found herself looking into Colorado openings that might offer greater responsibility and the opportunity to plan programs and events.
       All of the above combined to bring Bequette to Colorado Springs as the new supervisor of the Bear Creek Nature Center.
       She's held the post - the center's one full-time position - since early April, with one of her first events being an Easter egg hunt in which she gamely dressed as the Easter Bunny.
       As supervisor, Bequette replaced Paula Megorden, who is still involved with the center, coordinating volunteers.
       Coming in, Bequette said she was aware that the center's budget “isn't what it used to be” (referring to the roughly 50 percent cutback two years ago to help balance the county budget).
       A happy discovery was how active the center's volunteers are. “We had volunteers at my last job, but nothing like this,” Bequette said, noting that more than 50 people regularly donate time at the facility. “It's a blessing. The place wouldn't run without them.”
       Other than seeking improved efficiencies here and there, Bequette likes the Nature Center's offerings - such as the recently started, free Family Outdoor Club - and is not planning any major changes for now. “I need to get adapted,” she said.

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