Joe Salem was a telephone repairman who lived in upstate New York for 35 years. Once he retired, he and his wife moved to DeLand, Florida, in 2013.
Joe visited De Leon Springs State Park which is not far from his home and instantly fell in love with the park. He needed things to do to keep himself busy, so he inquired about volunteering there. He started volunteering in May 2014 and now has contributed around 3,500 hours to De Leon Springs State Park.
He started his volunteering journey at one day per week, which grew to two days and then three days per week. Nowadays, Joe finds himself at De Leon Springs five days a week because there is so much to do. He started out mainly blowing leaves and trash pickup, then he slowly evolved to mechanic work, plumbing, electrical, painting, etc. He also works on the various machinery found at the park such as chainsaws, leaf blowers, weed eaters, golf carts, tractors and park vehicles.
Joe never knows what he will be doing day to day. His favorite job is mowing the trails and looking for wildlife. When he is working at De Leon Springs he feels like he is experiencing the "Old Florida."