Volunteer Spotlight, Rita King

Rita King, smiling at the camera, standing in front of the underwater observatory.

Rita King

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

Growing up in Florida her entire life, Rita King always knew she had a love for the outdoors and especially the water. She recognized her passion for swimming at a young age and did everything she could to be close to the water. To indulge her passion, Rita auditioned to become one of the famed mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs in the early 1950’s. She entertained audiences for five years in that role.

During those memorable years of performing in Weeki’s first-magnitude spring, a new passion developed - the preservation of natural springs and our eco-system. Today, Rita contributes in any way she can for the betterment of our environment, the eco-system, and the protection of our fresh water resources. When asked why she chose to stay at Weeki Wachee in particular she says “I’ve always been drawn like a magnet to Weeki Wachee since I was young and I still am. Can’t explain the feeling, except to believe I was meant to be here and must have a purpose or task I’m supposed to complete.” Rita continues to perform as a Legendary Siren at the park, but you can also catch her maintaining the springs and educating the community on ways they can help preserve Florida’s springs.

Rita’s favorite part of volunteering is being a part of a team of people that are friendly and dedicated to their job. She truly believes she can make a difference with her volunteer work, by becoming an influential voice for the protection of our natural springs and water quality.

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