Louisville District celebrates National Volunteer Month

USACE - Louisville District
Published April 14, 2022
Updated: April 14, 2022

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District celebrates National Volunteer Month every April by recognizing the tremendous effort of the volunteers who give their time at the recreational sites in the district’s footprint. Volunteers are an essential part of delivering the district’s recreational activities. 

“To be a volunteer means to give freely of personal time and efforts in the service of a greater good. Volunteers are vital to the accomplishment of our mission here at Barren River Lake, and we are so grateful for each of them,” said Holly Myers, park ranger at Barren River Lake. 

Louisville District lakes and recreational sites offer numerous opportunities and programs for volunteers to be a part of. According to Kimberly Baker, park ranger at Caesar Creek Lake, there are opportunities to volunteer as a workcamper, bluebird box monitor, prairie seed collector and trash collector. 

Barren River Lake, Rough River Lake and Green River Lake have similar programs for park sanitation, boat and fishing events for veterans, beach volunteers and campground and visitor center hosts.

For each of these events, volunteers have specific responsibilities and duties, creating a diverse set of activities volunteers can do. 

“Volunteers are usually doing litter cleanup, trail maintenance, painting, or small projects that can be completed in a few hours,” said Myers. 

“Our campground hosts are the face of our campground (greet campers, answer questions, present programs, life jacket loner program and much more), our visitor center hosts work in our visitor center on the weekends during the recreation season (greet customers, sell passes, monitor the building, feed animals, minor gardening duties),” said Andrea Davis, park ranger at Green River Lake. “Other volunteer opportunities exist that could involve trail maintenance, trash cleanup, painting, other minor maintenance - just depends on the volunteer or group and what they are wanting to do.”

Among these multitude of opportunities, some of the rangers have events which are their personal favorites.

“My personal favorite volunteer opportunity is the Trashmasters Classic Lakeshore Cleanup. This is an annual National Public Lands Day event, held the third Saturday in September,” said Myers. “Hundreds of volunteers come together at Barren River Lake in a coordinated effort to help clean up the shoreline. Trash bags and gloves are provided and volunteers are shuttled by boat out to various points on the shoreline for the pickup. Around noon, everyone gathers for a volunteer celebration picnic with free food, music, and prizes. Since 1988 volunteers have collected over 287 tons of trash.”

It is these events and the volunteers that really bring the community together, according to Adam Taylor, park ranger at Rough River Lake.

“I love working with people. I am a very social person. I like helping and being able to point people in the right direction if I can,” said Taylor. “Each volunteer we get to interact with is special. Each person brings their own background and experience to the table and wants to donate their time.”

The Louisville District is comprised of people from many diverse backgrounds, military and civilian alike. Each group performing an essential task to make the district what it is. USACE relies on all its people, including volunteers. 

For more information about Louisville District volunteer programs, visit: https://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Recreation/Volunteer/