Chris Matthews is the Division Director for the Nature Preserve and Natural Resources Division at Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. Chris is responsible for management, strategic planning, and operations of the Division, which incorporates Mecklenburg County’s nature preserve system, Environmental Education, Outdoor Recreation and the Natural Resources Sections.
The Division of Nature Preserves and Natural Resources protects, manages and interprets Mecklenburg County’s properties designated as Nature Preserves. The 27 Nature Preserves protect the county’s biological resources and natural areas, while providing opportunities for environmental education, nature-based programs, and outdoor recreation. The Division’s staff offer more than 5,000 programs annually, perform natural resource management, maintain more than 85 miles of nature trails, over 7,700 acres, 4 nature centers and a public campground.
Chris is a Charlotte native and has served on several Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation citizen advisory groups since the mid 1990s. He has a BA in Biology from UNC-Charlotte, an MS in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology from Frostburg State University in Maryland and was designated as one of the Charlotte Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2004. He spent 12 years in private consulting before joining Mecklenburg County in 2009. His professional interests include aquatic and terrestrial habitat restoration, freshwater fisheries, stream restoration and stabilization and protected species management.