Jobs 101: Park manager
What exactly does a park manager do? Youth.SG finds out more from nature junkie Dorothy Lim.
You can tell by her tan skin and athletic physique that she lives and breathes the outdoors. A park manager with six years of experience, 28-year-old Dorothy Lim gave us a peek into her job, managing three parks in Singapore – the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio, MacRitchie Reservoir and Lower Seletar Reservoir Parks.
WHO: Dorothy Lim Li Shi, 28
OCCUPATION: Park Manager
EDUCATION: Degree in Life Sciences at the National University of Singapore (NUS)
Tell us more about yourself.
I’m quite an “outdoors” person. I enjoy trekking, so parks, gardens and nature reserves are places I love going to. Getting this job was terrific because it matches my interests and allows me to contribute to greenery.
How and why did you become a park manager?
During university, as part of the modules under Life Sciences, I got to learn about ecology. There were field studies where I got exposed and learnt about the forests, parks and gardens. That’s when I heard about the jobs in NParks and it interested me. When I was about to graduate, I started searching for information about NParks and its related fields.
Describe a typical day at work.
As a park manager, I have to check the parks to make sure that the facilities and amenities are in proper condition, and also interact with park users, so that I can better understand their experience at the parks.
I also have to check on the greenery and the health of the trees. Tree inspections and landscaping are part of my day-to-day planning. I use basic equipment like a mallet and measuring tape to inspect the general health of the trees.
Share with us a memorable experience you had as a park manager.
I had the chance to meet Mr Lee Kuan Yew. He is passionate about greenery and he visits parks. About three years ago, he paid a private visit to the MacRitchie Reservoir Park. I showed him around some parts of the park and the park’s landscaping features. The visit lasted about an hour. It was a good experience as I heard him give comments and compliments about how we have contributed to the park.
What are some challenges you face on the job?
It’s always nice to be part of nature, but managing a park is not just about the park itself. Challenges can come from the interaction with people to provide the kind of experience people want from the park because different people have different needs.
What motivates you in your work?
The job gives me a lot of flexibility to plan my work. I have to keep thinking of new ways to make things better and create a better place.
Any advice for youths considering a job as a park manager?
You need to love the outdoors and the sun. It’s very important to have a passion for greenery. You also have to love and appreciate the trees.
Educational requirements: Any degree from a recognised university.
Qualities needed: A passion for greenery, and an understanding of what the environment needs.
Working hours: 42 hours per week.
Salary range: The salary range varies, depending on your experience and educational level.
Career prospects/advancements/specialisations: You can be promoted to become the section head or assistant director of a park.
Other jobs available at NParks include Conservation, Streetscape, Horticulture, and Community Gardening positions.