Volunteer On An Island For The Summer

bah-bahia_honda_-_rainbow_bridgeVolunteer On An Island For The Summer. What could be more fun than spending a little time on one of our various Islands around Florida? True, most that do have live on-site volunteer facilities run towards a tent or boat camping. But, why not give it a try? We contacted a few of the state parks that are only accessible via boat or ferry and found that a few of them would like to have volunteers this summer. Some of us oldsters may find that being in a tent for two or three months is a little bit too much but for those hardy and rugged souls out there we hope you will give it a try. If you have a boat with sleeping quarters and galley some of these parks has a spot for you too.

All of our Florida State Parks could use more volunteers this summer and every summer!

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CayoCostaStateParkSignZachary Lozano
Park Services Specialists/Volunteer Coordinator
Cayo Costa, Don Pedro Island, Gasparilla Island and Stump Pass Beach State Parks
zachary.lozano@dep.state.fl.us
(941) 964-0375
https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Cayo-Costa

Physical Location:
Four nautical miles west off the coast of Pine Island Florida, 33922
accessible via boat or ferry; has primitive cabins as well as tent camping area.

Letter from Mr. Lazono:

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Volunteer for the Florida Park Service.

To answer some of your questions,

The Duties of a Volunteer at CCSP depend on the time of the year and what is needed such as: Tram Driver, exotic plant removal, wood work, working in the visitor center, camp ground host, ext.

Time requirements for a volunteer to stay on island in a primitive tent site, is at least 20 hours a week.

You could stay for as little as a couple days or a couple months but no more than Four months.

Summer is the hardest time of the year to find volunteers

Volunteers come out to the island by the state boat that the staff comes out on every day at no cost.

I hope this answers some of your questions but I would strongly recommend calling Mary Olsen 239-633-1654 she lives out at Cayo and works with the volunteers every day and would be a good source of information about details I wasn’t able to answer.

Thank you for your interest and email me anytime. Thank you

Zachary Lozano
Park Services Specialist
Cayo Costa State Park
P.O. Box 1150
Boca Grande, Florida 33921
(941) 964-0375

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BahiaHondaSPSignBahia Honda State Park
36850 Overseas Hwy
Big Pine key, FL 33043
(305) 872-2353
https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Bahia-Honda

We know Bahia Honda State Park is not an island but a key within the Florida Keys area. But it does have a tent camping volunteer site and a boat camping volunteer spot as well as the regular campground/park hosts RV campsites.

Jolene,
Attached is some information for you.

Here are answers to your questions

We book 8 volunteers or volunteer couples at a time. Six are zone/campground hosts and two are maintenance/construction.

We have 1 live on your boat in the marina volunteer.

We have 3 volunteers in the various campgrounds.

the first one is a tent or popup only campsite and has water and 20/30amp service. It is close to the bath house in the Sandspur campground and many consider it our most desirable spot.

The next two spots are in the Buttonwood campground and have water, 20/30/50 amp and are close to the dump station. These sites are for trailers and motorhomes or tents.

The next 4 sites are by the shop and they are full hookups.

The last position is in the marina with 30 amp, water and a pump out station with a concrete dock and all new dock posts.

The minimum hours are 3 days per week with 8 hour shifts for 24 hours per week.
Most of our volunteers work additional time on programs, projects, beach cleanup, toll booth.
The state of FL maximum is 120 days in a Park each year. You can volunteer in more than Park.
We normally book for 3 months especially the first year as the basic training takes three weeks.

We have an ice machine, the volunteer group owns a clothes washer and a clothes drier and two freezers.

Volunteers receive a free kayak rental and a free trip on the concession snorkel boat to Lew Key, one of the best snorkel spots in the US.

Volunteers receive a volunteer hat, a maintenance t-shirt, a silver name badge with hours served and can have guests after 100 hours of service.

Currently volunteers can receive a free day use pass to all FL State Parks after 500 hours of service.

Volunteers can based on their desire and training time available receive certifications for boating, snorkeling, first aid, cpr, AED, lion fish removal, exotic species removal and training on equipment they want to learn how to use.

Volunteers receive video and classroom training on ADA, blood borne pathogens, harassment, and the newest certification for chemicals that is in place MSDS sheets.

Volunteers receive private tours about the history of the park service and Bahia Honda State Park. Volunteers can be involved in the turtle nesting program, surveys and the many special events we have. Volunteers are encouraged to go to the Ranger programs and the special programs we do on weekends.

The volunteers have a private picnic area. Pot lucks, pizza parties and fish fries are the norm.

We are normally booked two years out except we have openings for the marina spot as we have just started promoting this position. We some times receive late summer cancellations.

This is not an official document as I wanted to get you general information in a short time on a busy holiday weekend.

Good volunteering,
Cindy Anderson, Volunteer, volunteer coordinator
Fred Anderson, Maintenance Mechanic
bhspvolunteer@aol.com

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HoneymoonIslandStateParkSignHoneymoon Island State Park
Malo, Karen A
Volunteer Coordinator
(7#1 Causeway Boulevard
Dunedin, Florida 34698
(727) 469-594227) 469-5942
https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Honeymoon-Island
karen.malo@dep.state.fl.us

Response From Park Manager Peter Krulder:

I was hoping you would take a few minutes and tell me if any of the state parks you manage has made provisions for live on-site volunteers?

Anclote Key Preserve State Park No
Caladesi Island State Park Yes, boat sites
Egmont Key State Park No
Honeymoon Island State Park Yes, RV sites
Skyway Fishing Pier State Park NO

I know some are only accessible via water and you probably do not have campsites for volunteers but it would be nice to know that as well.

Mostly, people need to know what kind of campsites you have (tent/rv/boat)

Is there electric/water/sewer and/or showers? There is electric water and sewer at the RV sites on Honeymoon. Electric and water at the Caladesi Boat sites

What are the duties? The duties are varied from facilities maintenance, working the tollbooth, grounds maintenance, equipment maintenance.

What hours you require each week? 20 hours per week per person

What length of stay you allow? 4 Months

What other amenities you might offer the volunteers? (free ice, laundry facilities, free firewood, discounts on merchandise and services, etc.) Honeymoon has a washer and dryer.

If a state park doesn’t have live on-site spaces do you hope to add them in the future? No

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HontoonIslandStateParkSignHontoon Island State Park
Michael L (Mike) Haynes
Park Manager/Volunteer Coordinator
(386) 736-5309
mike.hayes@dep.state.fl.us
https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Hontoon-Island

Hontoon Island State Park is different from the others in that it in on an island in the middle of the St. Johns River and not off the coast of Florida.

tent site only; accessible via boat or ferry; has primitive cabins as well as tent camping area

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If you have any questions about any of these parks and the volunteer positions that have please contact the park directly. You will still need to fill out the ONLINE APPLICATION as a Florida State Park Volunteer and your references will be checked. We hope you will share this and our other articles with your friends and loved ones.






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