SPRINGS Being named honorary mayor for
this desert community is just what the
title implies: an honor. Mark Jorgensen
considers it a tribute by the community
for his many years of working for the
I've lived here
for 30 years and get involved in
community affairs, said Jorgensen,
superintendent of Anza-Borrego Desert
State Park and the town's newly
appointed honorary mayor.
I have a lot of
pride in Borrego Springs as a town and a
place to raise my family. I try to make
it a better place. It just makes living
in our small town just that much more
enjoyable and more gratifying.
The honorary mayor
is chosen each year by the Borrego
Springs Chamber of Commerce. Jorgensen
serves on a subcommittee for the chamber
that he calls the Think Tank.
It's a group of
people who brainstorm new ideas for
revitalization of the town center, he
said. To find ways to make the town
appealing, make a good impression to
entice travelers to stop, walk through
the town and enjoy the hospitality.
As honorary mayor,
Jorgensen will be helping to make that
happen. Although he has no definite
plans for fulfilling his role he was
installed Oct. 27 Jorgensen will help
out wherever needed, including talking
to service clubs on the chamber's behalf
and continuing to assist with the annual
food drive during the holiday season.
We at the park
have been helping with delivering to 80
to 100 families, he said. Every kid
gets a toy; every family gets enough
food for a meal.
started coming to the desert when he was
a child growing up in Fletcher Hills. He
was hired when he was 20 as a seasonal
employee at the park to work on a
bighorn sheep project.
I lived in an
outpost at Fish Creek during the cooler
season of the year, while I was still in
college, he said.
After he was hired
full time, his first assignment was
working at state park beaches in
Ventura. After a couple of years, he
transferred back to the desert and was
assigned to the Ocotillo Wells State
Vehicular Recreation Area, just east of
the Anza-Borrego park.
assignment, he was a state park
naturalist in Borrego for 13 years.
I was the last of
the park naturalists in the state, he
said. They did away with that
classification. It became a state park
promoted to park superintendent in 2001.
I was having so
much fun studying the bighorn and being
a patrol ranger, he said. I just came
to know the place very well and loved
it. . . . It was just a wonderful
opportunity at a place you were already
in love with your whole life. I've
really had no desire to work anyplace
misses being out on patrol, he said, and
thinks there's too much administrative
work as superintendent. But Jorgensen
already has made his plans for
I will be a
volunteer, he said, filling one of the
many positions within the state park
system in Borrego Springs.
tremendous folks, he said. They become
your best friends in the whole world.