Volunteer Spotlight

Rick and Ruth Cheverie

Rick and Ruth Cheverie

Short-Term Project of the Year Award for Cultural Resources

Rick and Ruth Cheverie have been volunteering at Hillsborough River State Park for the past four winters. In 2020, they led the effort to restore a historic Civilian Conservation Corps cabin built at the park in the late 1930s.

Originally, eight cabins were built at the park with the intention of providing accommodations for visitors. Over the years, the cabins were lost … except for one. This cabin had been moved from its original location and placed behind a park residence house for several decades, seemingly forgotten.

The Cheveries' carpentry skills and dedication led to the restoration, relocation and reopening of the cabin as an interpretive tool to tell the story of the accomplishments of the men of the CCC. The cabin was first inspected and stabilized to see if it could withstand a move of nearly one mile in the park. The team relied on their personal experiences of working in the areas of restoration and the guidelines of “The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.”

Rick’s leadership and hard work oversaw the bulk of the work of stabilization, relocation and restoration of the cabin, and the project was completed within two months and with less than $4,000, which is $16,000 under budget. The windows had to be removed, reglazed and reinstalled, exterior and interior siding had to be replaced or restored, and the floors were covered in paint splatter, oils and other impurities from a half-century of use as a storage shed.

The first installation of interpretive panels is expected to be completed by spring 2021. The cabin will showcase the amazing accomplishments of the CCC for generations to come. 

2020 Florida State Parks Volunteer Recognition Award Winner

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