VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT, Althea Tombley-Carter

Althea Tombley-Carter

Althea Tombley-Carter

Althea has been a lifetime member of the Citizen Support Organization (Friends of the MKR Farm) since 2007.  Prior to moving from Miami to Cross Creek full-time she would visit the park for events such as the MKR Commemorative Stamp Release in 2008.  

In 2021, Althea started regularly volunteering at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park.  She first started helping in the grove, maintaining the garden and trails and tidying up the barn and tenant house.  After learning more about the park, Althea started assisting with cleaning of the house and contents while sharing her skills in organization of maintenance supplies. These experiences expanded to actively participating and being a tremendous help in two Cultural Archival Cleaning Restorations and working alongside staff getting the park ready for annual facility and safety inspections.

Althea routinely participates in all events, including set-up and break down and comes on tour days to sell books for the CSO.  She has also filled in to help cover tours when staff have called in sick.  Althea has shared her “patch jacket” on non-tour days that reflects her avid love for National and State Parks and claims to be proudest of the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park patch received since volunteering.

Althea has gained a stronger appreciation for Rawlings and her work by volunteering at the historic site.  Reading Cross Creek again after volunteering has truly brought the words to life.  Living at the Creek has made her realize that we are all “tenants, not possessors, lovers …not masters” just as Rawlings wrote.  Althea most enjoys working outside, talking with visitors, helping with the livestock and selling books for the CSO.  She is a valued volunteer by all staff, ensuring the historic integrity of the park is not diminished.

Moments that left her in “awe”:

  • When Claude Jarman, Jr (Jody in the movie The Yearling) visited the park and she first saw him walking across the grove.
  • Cleaning weeds and debris from the cattle gap, that she laughed about mistakenly calling it a cattle prod.
  • Decorating the tree in the living room and fireplaces at Christmastime.

Learn How You Can Get Involved