by Marianne (Marnie) Sciamanda, Community Volunteer Ambassador (AmeriCorps) for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
Meet Bill, a volunteer at Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. For the past few years, Bill has been our volunteer data-entry expert who helps the park enter volunteer data into the online system. When asked what he likes about this unique volunteer position, Bill said, “I feel like it really helps the Park Service, and if I wasn’t doing it, a staff person would have to be doing it, so it feels rewarding.”
Bill’s experience with National Parks is vast – he has even temporarily resided in National Parks in Colorado and Northern California as his wife participated in the Artist in Residency program. It was at these parks that Bill noticed and appreciated the commitment of National Park Service employees. Mississippi National River and Recreation Area was the perfect fit for volunteering at a NPS site for Bill, as he grew up in Minneapolis and has several favorite places along the river, including the Stone Arch Bridge, Minnehaha Falls, and the combined bike and pedestrian pathways along the river in St. Paul and Lilydale. He adds that the Mississippi River is a central part of the Twin Cities, and volunteering at the park is a great way to preserve this resource for anyone else who also loves the Twin Cities.
Bill enjoys being a part of the National Park Service and recommends that anyone should try volunteering at Mississippi National River and Recreation Area because of the wide variety of volunteer opportunities available. Although he now completes valuable office work for the park, Bill has participated in several volunteer opportunities in the past, including habitat restoration, canoe programs, wildlife surveying and bike with a ranger programs. Bill describes his volunteer service as “rewarding,” “worthwhile,” and he feels that his position makes a difference.