Volunteer Spotlight, Jimmy and Sadie Clay

Volunteers Jimmy and Sadie Clay standing in front of their red bus known as the "Iron Horse".

Jimmy and Sadie Clay

Big Lagoon State Park

Jimmy and Sadie Clay live in Tennessee and began volunteering for Florida State Parks 13 years ago. Big Lagoon State Park was the first Florida State Park that the Clay's ever visited, and they fell in love with the park, the community and the staff. They originally came to Big Lagoon to help with Hurricane Ivan cleanup; running the tractor, chipper, and assisting with the cleanup in any way, including utilizing much of the downed trees as split firewood for the park to sell. 

The Clay's have many cherished memories from volunteering at the park.  They recall volunteer appreciation days, the people they have met, and seeing a Bald Eagle for the first time as some of their fondest memories.

Over the years they have served in different roles based on the park needs and have done everything from camp hosting, to maintenance. Volunteer Coordinator Emily Price boasts that the couple offer a plethora of knowledge and are continually working hard to better the park in any way they can.

The Clay's can be seen volunteering in their iconic red bus called “The Iron Horse.”  They converted the bus years ago to a glimpse of the past, an 1800s rail car themed motor home with all of the modern conveniences and many historic nods. Over 700 people have toured “The Iron Horse” and Sadie is always ready to ask, “Did you run into any Indians on your way here?”. The handiwork and period decoration that went into the design of the bus is jaw dropping!

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