Volunteer Spotlight, Pamela and James (Frank) McClure

Pam and James hold up signs about why they volunteer: "meeting people" and "sharing barrier free resources."

Pamela and James (Frank) McClure

Pam and James were the very first Florida Park Service Resident Volunteers at William J. “Billy Joe” Rish Recreation Area. Their main duties were opening the park, maintaining our newly opened cabins, and completing various park projects as needed. As the first resident volunteers, Pam and James had to be flexible; they experimented with cabin cleaning procedures, the resident volunteer schedule and the brand-new RV sites until they had it all down to a science. Park staff were so grateful to have dedicated volunteers like Pam and James!

Their favorite part of volunteering at Rish Recreation Area “spans from the smiling visitors to the grateful staff. It is the people that make this park a gem. It is motivating and an honor to assist the team as they work each day to preserve, protect, and restore the park resources. Rish Recreation Area offers a barrier-free park with amenities throughout to accommodate visitors with disabilities. Observing visitors enjoy being a part of nature, sometimes in a way they have not previously experienced, is reason enough for us to choose continual service at Rish.”

In addition to their dedication to keeping our cabins squeaky clean and providing excellent visitor service, Pam and James attended as many educational programs, trainings and volunteer get-togethers as possible during their time here. From kayak/canoe training to lunch-and-learns about sea turtles or the turpentine industry, you could count on Pam and James to be there. It was great to see volunteers so passionate about our natural and cultural resources.

But that interest in Florida State Parks isn’t new for them; it began 20 years ago on a road trip. “We pulled out a paper map and picked a Florida State Park [T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park]. Our hopes for a family-friendly nature filled adventure were exceeded. From the hermit crabs to the ghost crabs with all the bobcats, deer and wildlife in between, it was love at first camp! After just one fateful adventure to Cape San Blas, our hearts were called to return year after year.”

In their off-hours, the McClure’s were just as enthusiastic about exploring the park and enjoying the amenities. Most days, you would find Pam lounging by the pool while James went shorefishing on the beach! They also took time to enjoy the magnificent sunrises over St. Joseph Bay and colorful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico – a special result of our peninsula’s north-south orientation.

Thank you, Pam and James, for being such great stewards of our resources. We look forward to seeing you around the park again soon!

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