Can you imagine choosing to spend your spring break getting muddy, wet and cold while clearing storm debris, restoring trails and building fish habitat?
That’s exactly what a group of eleven students from Hungry Mother State Park,and the park is grateful!
Alternative Spring Break group from Grand Valley State University
Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been sending a group to Hungry Mother every spring since 2001.
Fact: Alternative Spring Break volunteers have donated over 5,400 hours of labor to the Hungry Mother State Park since 2001!
Director of State Parks Joe Elton met with the students on Monday night to personally thank them for choosing to spend their spring break volunteering at the park. In addition to thanking them for their time, he spoke about the importance of their generation to the park system’s future. Director Elton reminded the group that it is crucial for young people to become leaders in promoting parks and the outdoors.
Virginia State Park Director Joe Elton talks with the students from Grand Valley State
The Friends of Hungry Mother State Park also expressed their appreciation for the students by hosting a potluck lunch for the group
This year’s group is focusing their efforts on helping the park recover from January’s snowstorms by clearing fallen trees from trails and cleaning up debris from around the cabins. They are also contributing to other projects, including painting the Discovery Center and using old Christmas trees to create more fish habitat in the lake. The group also had a chance to experience Southwest Virginia with an evening of local music at the Smyth County Jam, a hike at Grayson Highlands State Park, and dinner at Marion’s legendary Dip Dog stand.
Students help to clean the debris left behind after a harsh winter
Learning how to flatfoot (a traditional style of dancing in this part of Virginia)
For more information about our award winning www.virginiastateparks.gov.
If you are interested in volunteering at Virginia State Parks, please click here, there are many opportunities available.