Volunteer Spotlight, Rita King
Park volunteer, Rita King, moved from Madeira Beach, FL with her foster parents to New Port Richey, FL in the mid-1950s. Growing up in Florida, Rita spent the majority of her time in the water or in the woods. This affection for the water and outdoors gave Rita the inspiration to become a Weeki Wachee Mermaid. This became a reality for her, as she spent five years as one of the famed sirens in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Today, Rita volunteers her time at the park protecting the resource she fell in love with decades ago. She is part of a dive team that meets several times a week, cleaning the glass of the theater windows, removing evasive algae and non-native plants.
Rita also immerses herself in the community, conducting outreach programs to help educate citizens on how they can help protect our natural resources. If that isn't enough, Rita also is a member of the Legendary Sirens. A group of special ladies who were once Weeki Wachee Mermaids, and still perform during special events at the park.
Rita articulates her draw to the park. "I seem to have a magnetic pull that has always drawn me to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. I can’t explain the feeling, except to believe that I must have a special purpose at this park or task to complete."