June 2017 Park Angel of the Month: Michael Master
Michael Master may be the Charleston Parks Conservancy’s top recruiter when it comes to inviting volunteers to join the organization’s army of Park Angels.
“He really is the man on the street recruiting people,” says Neves Richards, Conservancy director of volunteer and community events. “Anytime we have a booth at an event or expo, Michael works it. He greatly enjoys telling people about the Conservancy, the work we do and how they can get involved.”
In addition to volunteering with the Conservancy, Michael was just re-elected chair of the board of commissioners of the Colonial Common and Ashley River Embankment. That organization stewards the Colonial Common established in 1768 and now known as Colonial Lake Park and adjacent Moultrie Playground.
Michael has been involved with parks since high school, when his hometown mayor made him a recreation commissioner. After college he designed playgrounds, so Moultrie Playground is what first drew him to Colonial Lake and the Colonial Common. As a Lead Park Angel and a civic leader, he saw an opportunity to make a difference in the renovation of Colonial Lake.
He’s a big fan of Colonial Lake for “its opportunity for quiet reflection,” he says. “I enjoy all the drama of intense physical activity—tennis, basketball, baseball, even monkey bars and more at neighboring Moultrie Playground.”
Why volunteer with the Conservancy? For Michael, it’s quite simple. He says, “The Conservancy attracts some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. And you’ll make Charleston a nicer place to live, work and play.”
In addition to giving his time to the Charleston Parks Conservancy, Michael and his wife foster basset hounds for the Carolina Basset Hound Rescue. He is also officer of the Dean’s Council at the College of Charleston School of the Arts, Wolf-Kuhn Foundation and was instrumental in reviving the Robert Ivey Ballet and in establishing its successor, the Charleston City Ballet.
Michael also volunteers with events at the Gaillard Center, The Footlight Players, the Charleston Music Hall and the Spoleto and Piccolo festival venues.