JOE FORD NATURE CENTER

Photographs by: Larry Bidwell,  Deborah Branch, Jessie Parsons, Mike Robinson, Bob Christie

Jessie Parsons graduated from Western Kentucky University and is the current Executive Director at the Joe Ford Nature Center. Born in the Mountains of West Virginia and raised in Daviess County Kentucky, Jessie is no stranger to the outdoors.  She is passionate about the conservation of nature and wildlife and is spirited in her teachings.  She aligns with the mission of reconnecting individuals with nature and feels it is our responsibility as a society to coexist with wildlife and conserve wild places. She is a wife, a Mother of two children and several pets, and her spirit animal is a Coyote. 

Bob Christie is what everyone around here calls "keeper of the snakes".     His kind hospitality and genuinity are just a few qualities that the Joe Ford Nature Center have appreciated throughout the years. He was a life long friends with Grace and Joe Ford and an invaluable team member.  Veteran, Engineer, Electrical work- there is little he hasn't accomplished.  He takes special care of the snakes here at the center and attends every event we offer.  He thinks snakes are misunderstood creatures and devotes his free time here to allow others to experience these amazing creatures. He loves snakes so much, if he could be any animal in the world- he would be an Eastern Black King Snake.

Joe Ford Nature Center is always looking for Volunteers to add to our team. For more information please see our support page.


Meet Our Staff

Mary Kissel

Bird Sanctuary  Specialist



Adrian Bambini

Senior Forest Restoration & Grounds Keeping Specialist






 Mary Kissel has been a life long bird watcher and talking to chickadees at the Joe Ford Nature Center's bird sanctuary since 2010.  As a child, her father built a "windowsill cafeteria" in her bedroom from an old TV set, from which she watched cardinals and sparrows. She is a longtime board member/educator with the Daviess County Audubon Society and "that bird lady I've seen on the Greenbelt." She is a paginator/copy editor at Paxton Media Group's Owensboro hub. In her free time, she is a member of Immaculate Catholic Church, an avid sports fan, and doting cat mom.  She is a wonderful Volunteer here at the JFNC and a great asset to our team. 

Bob Christie

Senior Animal Care Specialist





Jessie Parsons

Executive Director



Retired Lt. Col Adrian Bambini served in the United States Army for 20 years.  He is dedicated to each and every organization he has volunteered with and has devoted much of his life to his passion of serving the community.  His knowledge of plant life, storytelling personality, and passion for trails makes him the perfect trailblazer- literally. Joe Ford Nature Park's beloved trails would not be so beautiful if he were not there to clear the way.  He has been a resident of Owensboro since 2019, has a lovely wife named Linda, and was recently inducted into the Kentucky Veteran's Hall of Fame for his work as a community volunteer.  You can find him just about everyday clearing the way on the Joe Ford Nature Parks trails.