Volunteer Spotlight, Grand Site Work Day 2019

a large group of people in work clothes stands underneath a canopy of trees

Grand Site Work Day

Big Talbot Island State Park

A volunteer group at Big Talbot Island State Park recently proved the old adage that there is strength in numbers. Using only hand tools like loppers and hedge trimmers, 35 volunteers were able to clear thousands of encroaching plants back at the Grand Site, a thousand-year-old Timucuan shell ring and burial mound complex originating from some of Florida’s first native peoples. Members of the Friends of Talbot Islands and Timucuan Parks Foundation rallied their service-minded troops to join park staff on a misty February morning to tackle a year’s worth of new growth.

This one-of-a-kind site has been studied for years by archaeologists including Dr. Keith Ashley of the University of North Florida, who spoke before the event, revealing details of the daily lives of the St. John’s II people who lived and gathered on Big Talbot Island centuries ago. Ongoing site work, initiated in 2013, is in anticipation of an interpretive trail and viewing platform that will invite the public to learn about the history of these first Floridians. Volunteers were thanked and rewarded for their efforts with lunch and updates on completed and upcoming park projects provided by the Friends of Talbot Islands and Park Manager, Michelle Waterman.

We thank this group for their efforts in helping to provide access to a truly spectacular treasure in Big Talbot Island State Park and the Florida Park Service.

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