Volunteer Spotlight, Chris & Kim Aviles
Chris & Kim Aviles
Chris grew up in the Bronx, New York, and joined the Navy upon graduating high school and retired from the Navy in 2007. Kim grew up in a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden, and was an exchange student during her senior year in Salt Lake City, Utah. She later went on to become a certified teacher in Texas where Chris and Kim worked and raised their kids. Texas is now what they consider their home state.
Chris and Kim wanted to come to Florida because the flora and fauna of Florida are beautiful, and to escape the heat of the Dallas, Texas, area. Over the years their family has vacationed throughout Florida, so they thought what better way to experience Florida than to volunteer at a state park?
Since Chris and Kim were young they have always loved the outdoors. Chris was in the Boy Scouts and camped every summer with his family in the Pocono Mountains. Kim had a horse that she took care of during her adolescent years and camped with her family. They then went on to pass the love of camping to their children. As a family they camped in tents, pop-up campers, bumper pull RVs and Class A RVs. Since they have been at Wekiwa Springs State Park they have seen a black bear, deer, coyotes, turkey, turtles, snakes and alligators.
You can usually find Kim at the ranger station with a big smile welcoming visitors into the park. Her role in the park is volunteering at the ranger station and assisting with the station duties. She also provides interpretive programs at the nature center located by the spring and enjoys the Junior Ranger program and signing kids up for the program.
Chris' experience in aviation maintenance has come in handy at Wekiwa Springs. Chris can usually be found in the maintenance area knuckle deep in some type of vehicle keeping them running for the rangers. When Chris and Kim kayak the Wekiva River, they are always are on river clean-up duty and pick up any trash they see.