MacArthur Beach State Park

MacArthur Beach State Park employees honored for saving lives

Three MacArthur Beach State Park employees were recently recognized with the prestigious Award of Valor, given by the Florida Park Service.

Park Services Specialist Art Carton, Ranger Rob Matriscino and Director of Education Veronica Frehm were honored at the Florida State Park’s 2015 Division Award Winners meeting for selflessly risking their lives to save two drowning visitors caught in a rip current at MacArthur Beach State Park last spring.

“We are extremely proud of, and grateful for, our award winners,” said Cheryl Houghtelin, executive director of the Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park. “Thanks to the skills and quick thinking of our MacBeach heroes, the two visitors were brought safely back to shore.”

Also at the 2015 Division Award Winners meeting, MacArthur Beach Park Services Specialist Lu Dodson was presented with the Joe Kenner Award for Interpreter of the Year.

As a park services specialist, Dodson is responsible for the interpretation and operation of the nature center. She also is the volunteer coordinator, oversees animal care and helps with the Natural Science Education program, teaching more than 50 students daily in the park’s “outdoor classroom.”

Dodson recently received a promotion to become assistant park manager at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

“We will miss Lu and her amazing work ethic, but we are happy for her and know she will make a great assistant park manager,” said Houghtelin.

Palm Beach County’s only state park, MacArthur Beach State Park is situated on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Lake Worth Lagoon. The park is made up of 438 acres of pristine coastal land and contains four different communities or habitats including seven species of plants and 22 species of animals on the endangered or threatened list.

For more information on MacArthur Beach State Park, go online to

Pictured above: Three employees of MacArthur Beach State Park, from left, Ranger Rob Matriscino, Director of Education Veronica Frehm and Park Services Specialist Art Carton, recently received the prestigious Award of Valor from the Florida Park service for risking their lives to save two drowning visitors caught in a rip current last spring. Photo submitted by MacArthur Beach State Park 


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Palms West Monthly covers Palm Beach County's Western Communities of Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee Groves and The Acreage, as well as West Palm Beach.

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