In April 1988, Judy Drury began her career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and forever changed the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

A native of Folkston, Judy grew up in the Okefenokee Swamp and was excited to be able to combine a career with the place that brought her so much joy.  

Throughout Judy’s career, she has always been an integral part of the visitor services program. Although her responsibilities and job duties were varied – she is truly a “jack of all trades” – what always shone through in everything Judy accomplished was her love for the Okefenokee and the people that work here. 

Staff at Okefenokee came to depend on Judy in regards to payroll, ensuring we safely traveled to and from the refuge on business-related travel, and that we had the supplies we needed to get our jobs done. 

Additionally, as the primary person who made camping permit reservations, thousands of visitors were greeted each morning with Judy’s sweet southern drawl while she helped them plan their camping trip. 

Countless visitors expressed their gratitude to Judy for her extensive knowledge of the water trail system through the Okefenokee Wilderness and her tireless efforts in providing the best experience to visitors from around the world. 

“The staff at Okefenokee will miss Judy deeply, but know that this is not the last time we will see her – we are excited for her to enjoy retired life and when she finds some extra time, volunteering on the refuge!” states Refuge Manager Michael Lusk.