It's easy to overlook Palmetto State Park on your drive up U.S. 183, but the little park is an important stop along the San Marcos River and am important jewel in the Texas State Parks System. And now, it is in need of a few “friends” to keep some important programs going.
Currently, volunteers head a group known as “Friends of Palmetto State Park,” which helps with various programs and operational needs around the park. In the course of a year, the group tackles a wide variety of tasks with the focus of making the everyday visitors experience “just a little bit better” and helping to keep the Palmetto name fresh in the local community, says Park Superintendent Liz Palfini.
Most importantly, the group is searching for someone to assume the office or president and treasurer.
“If we cannot find folks willing to step forward and assume their positions, then we will be forced to dissolve the Friends group,” Palfini said.
Some things that a leader of the group would do are purchasing the firewood for the park store, overseeing a small account for interpretive and special events, coordinating with two local parades, funding and staffing two weeks of kids summer camp, funding the the Halloween Haunted Hike, working for various park upgrades, planning, and on and on. The list never ends for a volunteer, but the job can be a rewarding one.
As for the scope of volunteering for the position, Palfini said that it is more about putting in a little work, effort and ideas rather than promoting the park. Visitation has increased from 80,000 to 110,000 visitors in the past two years, and she says that the little park is right where it needs to be for what it can handle in a weekend.
In all, they need ideas in ways to make day-use and overnight camper visits better.
“Losing the Friends group won’t kill Palmetto State Park, but it will significantly reduce our ability to provide fun value added elements that help to make the park stand out as not just any park,” Palfini said. “We work hard to enhance our visitors experience and sometimes those efforts are subtle and easily overlooked, but folks notice when they aren’t there. I am asking if you or someone you know would be willing to step up and help us in this effort.”
Interested persons can find out more by calling 830-672-3266 ext. 223, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just stop by the park headquarters at 78 Park Rd. 11 S., just outside of Ottine.