Sunday, February 01, 2009

RV Snowbirds Volunteer at Hunting Island State Park

Strolling along the white sandy beaches of Hunting Island State Park is a considerable contrast to shoveling thigh-high snow in 20-degree-below temperatures, but that's how Curt Parker likes it.

Each year for the last decade, Parker, a volunteer from Arbor Vitae, Wis., has been remodeling common areas at Hunting Island State Park in exchange for several months of free rent. The retired U.S. Navy chief has even offered a hand in rescuing swimmers who got out too far in the Atlantic Ocean, said Jeff Atkins, Hunting Island State Park manager.

Parker's work can be seen at all areas around the park. Last year, he remodeled the lighthouse gift shop; this year, he has been busy refinishing counters in the park's camp store and doing finish work around the buildings.

"Parker has great skills," said Atkins, referring to the carpentry, tile work and remodeling Parker has completed throughout the park.

"Volunteers are a huge part of Hunting Island. There is not a place at Hunting Island that you can't go and see something that volunteers were involved in."
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