Volunteering in State Parks

It has been a couple of months since I have taken the time to write up posts for all of my websites. With one thing and another, I just haven’t had the time or I should say that I am not organized enough to get everything done. This weekend I wanted to encourage more people who are living full time in their RVs to consider volunteer workamping in our Florida State Parks this summer. Quite a few of my fellow RVers are being displaced in their current stopping areas and are scrambling to find a place to land for a little while. Well, I say check with your local state parks about becoming a workamper. Yes, all the state parks around the country are being closed due to this social-distancing thing but the parks still have a long list of projects that need to be done and the park rangers just can’t get to all of them. So, volunteer to help them out in exchange for a campsite!

Here in Florida, we have always had a problem getting enough workampers in the late spring and summer months. Now would be a great time to apply. You can call all your favorite places that you have stayed in during the winter months but you might have better luck looking for spots further North. If you have never been a workamper before and are healthy, and even better handy almost every single state park in Florida could use your help now to get projects done and later when they open to help run the place.

All you have to do is go online https://volunteers.floridastateparks.org/ you can download the information booklets and application. You will also need to create a volunteer account to view some of the available positions around the state over the next 12 months. Not every position is a “Workamper” type position but most of them are.

One of our favorite places to workcamp is with the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail area and their 5 different river camp areas. The office is located in Lafayette Blue Springs State Park in Mayo Florida now. The camps are spread out along the Suwannee River beginning below Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs, Florida to just before Troy Springs State Park in Branford, Florida.

We have been hosts at Woods Ferry River Camp at the beginning and at Adams Tract River Camp at the end for 4 months each. Now each camp is a little different in how they are laid out and accessed. But the park personnel set each one up so that you have access to a washer/dryer and in some an extra refrigerator and/or freezer. There is only 1 workamping position at each park so you will be on your own most of the time. The park rangers do come by to check on you and will bring in supplies and take out the trash as needed. Talk about self-isolating. These camps will help you do that alright.

You are responsible for the mowing, greet the campers who come in off the river, clean the bathhouses and in general just keep everything clean and presentable. The only problem is when the river floods that particular camp and you have to get out of dodge. Then the other problem is cleaning up after the water recedes which it does a couple of times a year.

Some pictures from our Stay at both camps

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Here is the current listing for the River Camps

Camp Host: secluded and beautiful Suwannee River Wilderness Trail
Maintenance

Five different river camps along the Suwannee River, all sites have 30/50amp, water and septic and washer and dryer. Smaller RV’s recommended due to rural and often tree-canopied dirt roads and remote locations, often thirty minutes or more to local shopping. Hard-sided camping units only, pets always on a leash, must be able to work independently to maintain camps and keep track of attendance of campers paddling down the Suwannee River. Please email for more information regarding park needs and dates for specific openings. Larry.Arrant@dep.state.fl.us 800-868-9914