Atlanta Park Champion: Ray Mock

Chastain Park conservancy’s director of operations

Ray MockAs director of operations for Chastain Park’s conservancy, Ray Mock, 63, is technically responsible for maintaining about 60 acres of the park. But that doesn’t stop the third-generation Atlantan from traversing the full 268-acre expanse in his golf cart, checking up on the ballfields, horse park, and other facilities. And he doesn’t hesitate to lend more than an ear. “Those 273 trees that have been planted in the past three years didn’t come from the tree fairy,” he says. “We had volunteers working for weeks.”

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Chastain, which receives about 12,000 hours of service each year, more than any other city park. Mock oversees them all, including a group of juvenile offenders fulfilling court-ordered community service, whom he embraces with open arms and the 20/20 hindsight of a reformed delinquent. “I was a hell-raiser, too,” he says. “I just didn’t get caught.”

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 This article originally appeared in our June 2015 issue.