Amidst the tug-of-war over water transfers and the like that has dominated the Kerr Lake news lately, another tug-of-war took place this past Saturday where a group of loyal volunteers and Kerr Lake state parks personnel whipped back some extra tasks during a Volunteer Work Day at Hibernia State Recreation Area. Although some other parks like Kimball Point have had such days, this was a first for the park, one of two NC parks on the western shores of Kerr Lake. The event was sort of pushed to get going, time wise, but a hearty group of parks pros and determined park supporters set out to complete the “To Do” list.
With a constant wind and the threat of rain that when it came, actually did little more than drizzle, the dedicated bunch squared off at 9:00 AM Saturday morning with the list of “To Do’s” and divided up into teams. “I was a team of one on the wire brush detail,” said volunteer Linda Timberlake who scraped off paint from the handrails of the old concession stand site. Volunteer Tom Elmore and park employees Bob Smith and Will Ruark fixed a drainage problem at the picnic shelter, planted new campsite signs, tended bushes and shrubs and other tasks.
Then there were the tree cutters and the “I must cut limbs so they don’t hit RV’s and trailers” gang. Assistant Superintendent Lee Amos and park worker Megan Cottrell got out chain saws and logged for a time as camper Larry Matthews headed for a job he’s wanted to do for years, trim back pesky limbs. Chief Ranger Elliott McDowell hoped to get up six to eight new park information signs, but he got 12 up with volunteers Frank Timberlake, Harold White and park folks Harold Duncan, John Abbott and later on, Chris Curl.
From park maintenance, Sandra Hargrove and Tyrone Williams took on tasks and helped wherever needed. Later in the day Joel and Lisa Bailey arrived and that’s when the heavy duty power washer and super scrub went into effect at the park bathhouse as Larry Matthews cleaned out the rafters.
Even when the rain came, the determined small band carefully watched radars in order to finish the tasks. “We did not get enough head start to publicize the Volunteer Day,” said Kerr Lake Park Watch spokesperson Frank Timberlake, “but you surely cannot tell our group was small by all the deeds that were done. And we think so very highly of these parks people, several who told us they appreciate the fact that we care so much. It was a great day!”
It would have been nice if the event had been publicized more and it would have been nice to have had more volunteers. But it was Joel Bailey who expressed the success of the event maybe the best, “You can’t put a price on a day like today. The park staff gets good help and we the park users get to help on some things with a little more detail. By working together friendships are created or grown. I hope the state folks up the line are paying attention because we’re all willing to do this again.”
Lisa Bailey adds, “I want to see us have a volunteer day before the poison ivy and crawlers come out in the Spring and maybe even before the parks open here at Kerr Lake.” Volunteer Tom Elmore added as the work day came to a close, “You can tell how proud everyone is here and you can see the good that’s been done.”