Volunteers play critical role in operation of national parks

Paula Lamont strikes up a conversation with a couple who are on vacation in Florida while inside the visitor’s center at Fort Pickens Friday morning.

The couple discusses the trip they are on and how they plan to head north next to hit a few more historical sites. Lamont mentions her experiences at some of those same locations and offers advice for their journey ahead.

“I love those types of interactions,” Lamont said. “You get to learn more about them and share stories of your experiences in national parks while hearing their stories, too. It’s one of my favorite things about this job.”

Lamont and her husband, Jim Ramminger, have been volunteers at Fort Pickens for about a year and a half. They both work in the visitor center every other Friday and Ramminger couldn’t ask for a better setting to be in.

“It’s great being able to provide a service to people genuinely interested in learning something about our history and the nature you can find here,” Ramminger said. “It’s refreshing to see.”

With cutbacks becoming a common theme, limiting staff as a result, volunteers are becoming more important to the overall operation of the national parks.

Read the full article in the Aug. 18 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe for as little as $38 per year.

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