Volunteer Spotlight, Steve Vangoethem and Maria Aponte

Steve Vangoethem and Maria Aponte

Steve Vangoethem and Maria Aponte

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

Steve Vangoethem and Maria Aponte have not been volunteering long at Maclay Gardens or with the Florida Park Service, but they have made their mark and made this park better with their work ethic and positive attitudes. Working as a duo or independently, they have conquered many tasks. They repaired a dangerous and rotted boardwalk on our heavily used Overstreet Trail. They have pressure-washed and refinished picnic tables in our recreation area that are now so clean you can eat on them without a tablecloth.

They were involved in repainting parking spaces in our recreation area that were previously faded and painted horizontally and diagonally. Visitors now know where and how to park! They helped us at our two largest events, Moon Over Maclay and Camellia Christmas. They made sure that visitors made it safely to where they were going on a walkway lit only with luminaries and assisted in directing and informing visitors about the logistics of the park and what they could find. They worked in our visitor center on days we were short-staffed.

Steve and Maria have helped with clean-up, with setting up, working and tearing down events. They helped with our Silent Auction by finding and securing donors, and they helped with a flooding issue we were having in our volunteer village. Because of everything they have done and how much they have become a part of the Maclay Gardens family, we, the staff, want to shine a spotlight on them! 

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