Jim and Brooke Shaffer, volunteers at Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area
Hi, I’m Jim Shaffer and my wife’s name is Brooke. We’ve been coming to Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area for twenty-five years now. When I retired a few years ago, we decided to get an Annual Pass as the lake is only twenty minutes from our home.
We stopped at the park kiosk last December and noticed a poster on the window for the Park Champions volunteer program. We thought it was a great way to give back to the park we love. After several work days with Eddie and Kaitlin, our volunteer leaders, we met many nice, like-minded volunteers and park employees. We found it refreshing that people from all walks of life, ages, cultures, and races can come together for the love of nature.
We were so inspired by these volunteers and employees that we decided to become full-time park volunteers. We stay in touch with some of our fellow volunteers and have made new friends with the park employees as well. We see firsthand what park employees deal with on a weekly basis and they should be congratulated for their hard work and dedication.
Volunteering has been immensely rewarding. Visitors as well as park employees thank us for continuing to do the hiking/biking trail work we started with Park Champions. Since this is where we hike and kayak regularly, we benefit greatly as well. We also remove trash and graffiti year-round whenever we see it.
It’s great to know that, as volunteers, we improve the quality of life not just for us, but for other visitors, employees, and especially the wildlife that lives there every day. The other reward is that different seasons bring something special every time we visit. The fall colors, spring wildflowers, bears, bobcats, eagles, deer, and all the migrating waterfowl remind us as volunteers how lucky we are to have these state parks for now and for future generations.
We thank you all who volunteer to this great cause.
This June, we’re celebrating the hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers from across California who tirelessly donate their time and work to improve the quality, safety and preservation of our state parks with Champion Your Parks Month! Click here to learn how you can join the celebration and thank our amazing volunteers.