Tag: Forest Hosts in Osceola National Forest

Next Stop Alligator Lake

alr08252016-9Our next stop in our workamping journey will be a little different that what we are use to doing. Alligator Lake Recreation Area is located in Columbia County Florida (Lake City area) and they offer a semi-permanent positions for workampings in both their Falling Creek Falls Park and this one. They have a stable parking pad here with water, electric and sewer on site. There is even a little shed next to it we can use as extra storage which we have gotten use to here at Olustee Beach Day Use Area. The only thing is they do not have a washer/dryer available for us to use nor an extra shower in the shop area which we like very much here. But, the coordinator stated that she would have no objection for us adding one if we like. They do offer FREE internet and Basic Cable and mom is looking forward to that. Finally, they stated that we can stay as long as we would like but would really like us to stay through next summer. It seems that their regular winter workampers are moving over to the Falling Creek Falls Park and we contacted them at the right time.
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Osceola National Forest Workamping

FrontDoorViewONF041816Osceola National Forest Workamping is a new experience for us. Not only are we in a forest but a national one at that. So the workamping rules and perks are slightly different than with our Florida State Parks. Originally we were slated to be campground hosts at Ocean Pond Campground but when we arrived the volunteer coordinator wanted us to go to the Olustee Beach Day Park and Boating area. Since, they currently do not have any park hosts in this area and have one at the campground we said, “Okay with us!”. And, for now, it is turning out to be similar to our Troy Springs State Park experience. We clean the bathrooms, mow the grass and open and close the gates each day.

Now for the differences. First, we are allowed to stay for 6 months here instead of the maximum 4 months with the Florida State Parks. National parks and, especially, forest and wildlife refuges have different guidelines for their live on-site volunteers. Mostly, because it is very difficult to get volunteers to stay from the late spring to early fall months. And, once you have proven yourself they are allowed to let you stay longer if you wish and it is needed. Just like the state parks, each of the national parks, forests and wildlife refuges do not have many problems getting volunteers to stay from October to the end of March. So, there is great opportunities here for those of us willing to stay in Florida during the “Non-Peak” seasons!
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