©Bert Gildart: Anza Borrego has the largest volunteer program in California, something that may not be too surprising when one realizes that it is the nation’s largest contiguous state park. The key word is contiguous as Adirondacks State Park in New York contains more land, but the segments are scattered.
The point, however, is not size, but the number of people willing to volunteer their time to ensure quality. Last count has the number at 100, and these good people clean campgrounds, learn about the area’s natural history, contribute to research, and then often share that knowledge as leaders of hikes and as auditorium speakers.
But what kind of people would contribute all their time and effort and get so little in return? From my random sampling of one, I’ve concluded all these people bring exceptional talent to the setting and do so for the sole reason that they want to help improve what is certainly one of the nation’s premier desert settings. (Note, click here to see the power of music. Why it can even charm in kangaroo rats)
Several years ago, Janie and I had the good fortune to be camped next to Tony Feathers, a man who is fanatic about enhancing appreciation for this 600,000 acres park.
His talent is music and in a previous life he frequently sang his songs and strummed his guitar on Public Radio and at coffee houses in his home state of Tennessee.
Our invitation to him and to his wife Betty is a standing one, and we feel fortunate that the couple have found enjoyment at our campfire. (You can link here to Tony’s music.)
Recently, Tony received a third place for his song writing at an Appalachian Song Writer Contest, and that’s significant as it was a national competition. He shares this talent with visitors and with the school children of Borrego Springs. The remarkable thing is that everything he contributes is offered as a volunteer.
As I say, if my random campfire sampling of one has even a modicum of validity then Anza Borrego is not just the nation’s largest state park, but may also be staffed by one of the nation’s best group of volunteers.
They’re here because they love the park and believe in its benefits to the human race.
AIRSTREAM TRAVELS THREE YEARS AGO:
ADS FROM AMAZON AND GOOGLE AUGMENT OUR TRAVELS: