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By Pam Darty
Retirees, students, families, and those driven by a need to serve were celebrated last week by the management and staff of the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges.
During Volunteer Appreciation Week, across the country, thousands of citizens are cheered for the hours of service they have donated to the nation’s public lands.
Locally, the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge celebrated their volunteers with a boat ride, a picnic (funded by the Refuge Friends) and a walk along the beach for its band of volunteers who work throughout the year.
Highly regarded volunteers assist the Refuge with environmental education, special events, historical reenactments, fundraisers, maintaining recreation sites for the public, and wildlife surveys.
There were two RV volunteers who parked their RV in the Refuge Compound near Suwannee from January through March in order that Dixie Mainline and Shired Island remained maintained and welcoming for the local and visiting public. They donated nearly 400 hours in that time.
Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys NWRs Volunteer of the Year was awarded to historian Lindon Lindsey of Chiefland. His continual involvement with period-dress historical presentation has enriched the visitors’ experience and enjoyment at sites such as the Cedar Keys Light Station, the River Trail mill, and Vista. Management, staff and the volunteer coordinator voted unanimously to recognize Lindsey for his continued service.
If we all followed the examples set by Refuge volunteers like Ron Black, Ken Young, and George Sresovich, not only would our communities benefit, but our own lives would be fuller for it.