Volunteer Spotlight, Linda MacGrath

Volunteer Linda MacGrath

Linda MacGrath

Myakka River State Park

Linda is celebrating her 15th year volunteering at Myakka River State Park in January 2019. While she primarily helps in the Ranger Station, however she has also done a wide variety of projects, including teaching children, picking invasive plants, removing old fencing, tree trimming and more.

She is drawn to nature for its unexpected treasures. When she first started volunteering, she would bike about twelve miles off-road every day! Now, she enjoys walking on the trail along the river, taking photos and helping visitors find new adventures.

One day, as she was looking over her photos, she noticed an obvious trend: she loves alligators. Seeing this, she wanted to learn more about them, and got her hands on every book and article she possibly could. Now, her brain is fuller than her camera! Their prehistoric qualities and amazing adaptations keeps her interest and she is now Myakka’s “Alligator Expert.” Children’s and adults’ eyes light up when she brings out her alligator skull and educates about their characteristics, behavior, life cycle and evolution. 

Linda has been a long-time supporter and volunteer of the entire Florida Park Service, and her impact goes far beyond the borders of the park. She chose to settle in Sarasota to continue volunteering at Myakka because of our strong volunteer family. She has made a network of friends here, breaking the isolation of being at different parks. When any volunteer returns, there are always big hugs and lots of catching up to do with Linda!

Volunteering, for Linda, is her chance to “give back” by giving forward to the next generation. She loves guiding young nature-enthusiasts to their next adventure, whether it be hiking, biking, photography, birding or (of course) gator watching! She encourages everyone to go somewhere out of their comfort zone and see a wonderful new world of nature!

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