Volunteer Spotlight, Francis Folkers
Francis Folkers was born and raised in southeast Missouri and moved to Florida in 1970. She started working in the medical field in 1977 and retired from there in 2012. It was in 2007 when she began volunteering at Oscar Scherer State Park. Her love of the outdoors was reignited and she remembered how great it was to be in nature. Becoming a volunteer allowed her to reconnect with that love as well as help preserve a one of Florida's state parks.
There is nothing Francis enjoys more than being out in the woods and listening to the sounds of the park. Hearing the birds, insects, wind blowing through the trees and the laughter of the children, is music to her ears. To watch the sunrise in the morning and wait for the animals to start stirring is a perfect start to the day. Doing something each day to preserve this beautiful, precious park, no matter how small is her goal. Whether it is picking up trash, treating exotics, mowing, helping with events or programs, or talking to visitors, she finds that the variety keeps the opportunity to volunteer challenging and interesting.
Francis is very appreciative that Oscar Schere State Park has become such an integral part of her life and her mission to help protect the park's natural resources. She says "The management and staff here in the park are extremely supportive and are always willing to share their knowledge. They have also provided the opportunity to work with the Florida Scrub Jay, and that it itself has been rewarding in many ways." Francis hopes that she can pass her knowledge on to other, so that they too can know the fragility of our environment, and work to protect and preserve the area as well. She hopes that everyone she encounters will find their way back to nature and learn to appreciate it as she does.