Ellen and Hal Cubberley

Ellen and Hal Cubberley

We volunteered at Wallkill River NWR from April 7, 2010 until June 7, 2010. Our last day worked was June 2nd. Although 32 hours (2 days @ 8 hrs. each) per couple is required in exchange for an RV site we elected to work 3 days at 7 hrs. We feel this would make up for the short first and last weeks of our stay and because, for us, four days off is enough each week to play tourist.

Both of us worked at cleaning up trash from the parking areas around the refuge. One morning we picked up 5 large bags of trash plus some large items that wouldn’t fit in a bag. Until you get out and look for trash you don’t realize how much is there. 

Ellen worked in the office most of the time and straightened up the volunteer clothing and inventoried them. Straightening up the supply cabinet, cleaning out some items in the basement, shredding a large stack of papers, revising the staff phone listing, and cleaning the nature trail signs were among the smaller jobs that were performed. 

Her major projects were putting together a booklet for Resident Volunteers and Interns about Sussex and the surrounding areas. This included, but not limited to, emergency information, libraries, restaurants, grocery stores, points of interest and included directions, times of operation, fees, etc. The other project was putting together an evening program on fireflies. Information was researched, pictures found, a supply list was made, and a program put together. All this was put in a notebook with instructions. Also a large poster was made showing the Life Cycle of the Firefly. This program should be of interest to young and old alike. It was a most interesting project to work on and love doing the research. 

Since Hal had his own Home Maintenance business for several years he worked on several maintenance projects such as the two additional RV sites, did several items on the TO DO LIST for Quarters-5, and made a set of doors for the new storage area under the porch at Quarters-5. He also made a staircase for the fire cache, did trail cleanup, and many smaller jobs that needed to be done around the refuge. 

This is a wonderful area to volunteer at and the staff at Wallkill River NWR is the best. The best part of the day is lunch time when all of the staff eats together. A good time is had by all! 

During our stay here we went to Liberty State Park in Jersey City and took the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Went to Grey Towers in Milford, PA and found the mansion and gardens to be a very interesting place and beautiful place. High Point State Park at the monument has the best view of the area. Hal loved going to the Chatterbox on Saturday afternoon and seeing the car show that is there weekly. There were definitely some beauties there. Ellen also enjoyed having supper there after walking around and looking at the cars. Since Hal was born in the Morristown hospital and lived in Mountain Lakes until he was five, we visited the old home site and area. Pictures were taken of the house in Mountain Lakes and also the house in Boonton where his parents and brother lived before he was born.