Meet Augie Ceballos

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Photo by Diane Terry

As maintenance chief for Santa Cruz area state parks, Augustine Ceballos sees the parks up close day in and day out. He also works with Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks on big projects like renovating the Castro Adobe. Augie, as he's known by his fan club at FoSCSO, took time out of a busy schedule to answer some of our questions.

1. What do you do for the parks?
My classification (on paper) I’m a Maintenance Chief; in layman’s terms, I’m a program manager, which means I manage all public work facilities within the Pajaro Coast Sector of the Santa Cruz District—all State Parks from Palm Beach in South County up to Coast Dairies, a total of 12 park units, mostly along the coast. I don’t do this alone; we have three Maintenance Supervisors and one Maintenance Mechanic who do a wonderful job in the field, dealing with all the day-to-day issues.

2. What's the best thing about your job?
Many things; the opportunity to maintain and provide a clean, safe environment for all public users; being able to work outdoors; and lastly having a great satisfaction about working with others to protect/maintain these amazing parks.

3. What do you think parks do for us as people? Why do people love them so much?
Parks offer amazing opportunities for people to recreate, and many of us have these wonderful jewels right in our backyards! Californians love to be outdoors, and I think parks provide that connection for people to love and care for their parks.

4. What's your favorite park and why?
I like them all, but I cannot say enough about Nisene Marks Forest—that’s where I recreate the most. The solitude and the amazing miles of hiking and biking trails are awesome!

5. What's something about one (or all!) of our local state parks that might surprise people?
Get off the beaten track, and smell and taste the beauty of nature, that’s where you’ll find surprises!

6. What’s it like having Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks to work with?
They're great. So supportive and dedicated to the preservation of State Parks! Without them, life in Parks would be tough.

About Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks
Begun in 1976 as a history association working in cooperation with local parks, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks developed a unique approach to supporting the state parks found in Santa Cruz County. Rather than simply fundraising and presenting parks with donations, Friends funded interpreters and entrance kiosk workers, as well as capital improvement projects such as renovation of the historic Castro Adobe, using a portion of entrance fees coupled with proceeds from five ParkStores—and, of course, donations and grants. This innovative public-private partnership reached a new level in 2011 when Friends stepped in to halt the closure of the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park (a.k.a. the Mission Adobe) by covering operating costs. In 2013 FoSCSP was the highest contributor to California state parks of any organization of its kind, and the "Friends model" has been studied by the Parks Forward Commission tasked with overhauling the state's struggling parks department.
Become a member of Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks or learn about volunteer opportunities.