Johnny and Tina Roush

Johnny and Tina Roush
Johnny and I were volunteers at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge from April 1 to May 15, 2012. We found northern New Jersey to be surprisingly beautiful, especially the refuge itself. While staying in our fifth wheel in the RV camping area provided by the refuge, we observed wild turkey, deer, a black bear, rabbits and many kinds of birds. The area is also home to the plentiful woodchuck/ground hog, which is unfamiliar to folks from Louisiana. The staff at the refuge is great. They were all very easy to work with and a great resource of information and assistance. While serving as volunteers, Johnny installed smoke alarms/fire detectors at the quarters, helped build a bridge at Cherry Valley NWR, built about 25 potting benches for the transplant staging area, serviced vehicles, made modifications to the UTV's, a trail mower, and the marsh master, and built a fire ring for the RV camping area. I (Tina) spent my time working in the gardens at the refuge headquarters, painting the kitchen at the headquarters, and transplanting seedlings to individual pots. It is great the the refuge volunteers are allowed to use their skills, talents and interests to contribute to the function of the refuge and the programs provided. The end result is that both volunteers and staff are pleased with the outcomes. There was plenty of time to get acquainted with the other RV volunteers at the refuge, as well as local volunteers. During our stay the refuge arranged for all volunteers to tour Grey Towers in Milford, PA, and to enjoy a relaxing lunch together at the Waterwheel Restaurant. Another benefit of our volunteer experience was our CPR training, Defensive Driving Course, and ATV/UTV training. We look forward to an opportunity to return to this area and the Wallkill River NWR.