Bob McGorty knows he has big shoes to fill in taking over as the director of Lake George Regional Park from Jeff McCabe.

That doesn’t faze McGorty and Park Resource Manager Derek Ellis – they have big plans for the park, which straddles the Skowhegan and Canaan boundary.

It helps that the two have worked together for years.

“We’ve had all these wonderful ideas of ways to expand the park and better serve the community,” Ellis said amid a chilly wind off the lake last week. “Those ideas until recently were shelved because I didn’t have enough time to put into it. With Bob coming along and a slight increase in interns, I’ll have more time.

“Our role in the community is just going to expand – more services, more programming, more things to do.”

McGorty, 65, is a retired career center consultant with the Department of Labor. He also worked for 30 years as a human resource manager in the high-tech field. He’ll work part-time in the nonprofit’s office beginning May 2.

Ellis will oversee operations at the park, which are set to expand this summer to include new programs, including a mountain bike club, a paddling club, nature walks and hiking. Ellis, 44, was hired as park ranger and manager in 2013.

The two have worked together on Department of Labor youth programs at the park.

McGorty, who lives in Skowhegan, will be responsible for the administrative duties at the park office, including assisting in annual fundraising, data entry, financial work, seasonal and daily passes, insurance, donations and working with the board of directors on managing overall operations.

“The primary focus of my job will be to have a designated administrative area that is staffed on a regular basis,” McGorty said.

Ellis said he rewrote his own job description for the board to include “everything that takes place outside of the office.”

“The positions were designed on the park’s needs 20-something years ago, so it didn’t really make sense the way it was set up anymore,” Ellis said. “In Jeff’s absence I had assumed a lot of what he did anyway, but I got spread too thin to do the office stuff as well, and that’s why we wanted a person on either end.”

The park serves as many as 1,500 people on a nice summer day.

Work this summer is set to improve accessibility to the waterfront, with a ramp and erosion prevention measures, along with planted buffers, riprap and granite retaining walls.

The park also is working with the Marti Stevens Learning Center’s outdoor classrooms and community service programs. For instance, Skowhegan Area Middle School also has adopted a buffer planting project to study erosion.

The state of Department of Conservation bought the land. It is leased to both towns and run by a nonprofit group, Lake George Corp. It survives on donations, fundraisers, direct mailing and gate fees. It also is helped by extensive volunteer and internship programs.

It operates on an annual “bare bones” budget of about $130,000.

Including land bought in 2002 with money from the Land for Maine’s Future program and foundation grants, the park is now a 320-acre destination with swimming beaches, boat launches, hiking trails and miles of cross-country ski trails.

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