Hello, Goodbye!

Hello everybody! I’m Alora, the newest permanent addition to Mississippi Park Connection! You may have seen me around the river this summer working as a part-time intern, and Kate Havelin’s unofficial sidekick.


Prior to my internship with Mississippi Park Connection, I attended college at Metropolitan State University where I studied marketing and worked as business manager for our campus newspaper, The Metropolitan. My contributions to The Metropolitan represent some of my proudest academic achievements, and I was very lucky to have a team that was so supportive and encouraging, helping me to discover a talent in communications and a voice of my own.

Growing up I was lucky enough to be within biking distance of many different parks, trails and conservation areas, so I’ve always had an appreciation for natural spaces. In truth I was raised as more of a lake person, but over the summer I’ve really enjoyed getting acquainted with our great river and reveling in its beauty.

As of October 1st, I’m happy to say that I have been hired on officially as Marketing and Communications Associate for Mississippi Park Connection! But… I am also kinda sad. As exciting as it is to be gainfully employed, it has recently dawned on me that I have some very big shoes to fill and am now hacking it without my mentor here to guide me through it all. This is both an exciting and slightly terrifying realization.

Kate Havelin has been involved with the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area for many years and is the only person who has worked as a volunteer and a park service employee and a Mississippi Park Connection employee. Kate started out volunteering at the Mississippi River Visitor Center, mastering each and every task put in front of her without hesitation.

She later became an emergency hire for the National Park Service and worked as a ranger for a year and a half, during which time she put her writing skills to work and completely revamped Story Time with a Ranger. She also created our fabulous Second Saturday program at Coldwater Spring!

Following her time with the National Park Service, Kate was hired on with Mississippi Park Connection to tell the story of Coldwater Spring which she did a phenomenal job of, helping to bring that corner of the park to life. She has remained a key member of the team here, helping with community outreach, marketing, communications and managing one particularly needy intern.

Over the years, Kate Havelin has contributed enormous amounts of her time, talents and heart to the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, and it surely will not be the same without her. All of us at Mississippi Park Connection and the National Park Service are wishing Kate the best in her next adventure, and can’t wait to get our hands on her next book. Hats off to you Kate, we wish we didn’t have to say goodbye!