If you've noticed that the landscape at Alta Plaza Park has been looking better these days, you can thank our new gardener, Marvin Mouton. Marvin is delighted to be at Alta Plaza Park; in fact, he loves it. He says it has the best views of any park he knows and, in the early morning, when he arrives for work, it has the freshest air. Marvin has worked for SF Rec and Park for six-and-a-half years, most recently at the Angelo J. Rossi Pool and Playground. While working there in 2009, he received the Raymond Hammond Hall Gardener of the Month award.
Aside from gardening, Marvin is into vintage cars. He owns a 1972 Mercury Cougar convertible that he has restored himself. His other vehicles are a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a Mini Cooper, and a truck. Marvin at one time worked as a mechanic for the U-Haul company, and he really knows his way around a car's insides, which comes in handy when he has to jumpstart one of Rec and Park's vehicles.
Aside from vintage cars, Marvin likes vintage houses. He owns one and has renovated it himself, since he also can do carpentry, electrical work, and plumbing.
Marvin grew up in New Orleans with a Creole mom and dad, and was part of a family where everyone cooked. He was raised on gumbo, he says, which explains why it's one of his favorite foods. His other favorite food is pasta, and he accounts for that by noting that his fiancée is Italian and also a great cook.
Look for Marvin when you're in the park some time, and stop to say hi and to thank him for his hard work.