Dennis Damaged Trail... Re-Trekked

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

The trail through Saint Marks Wildlife Refuge will never be the same. Storm surge from Hurricane Dennis left many bridges broken and still others floating off course, but thanks to a group of AmeriCorps volunteers, the trail is getting back on track.

Jacob Courville, an AmeriCorps volunteer from Michigan, says, "We've repaired around four bridges as of right now. We're diverting from the bridge that got knocked down over there, so I think we have maybe one or two more to fix."

The volunteers are working with the Florida Trail Association, helping bring some of Florida's pristine properties back to post card condition, and for them it's a chance to see what the park service staff call "the real" Florida, but that's one of the few perks they get.

They get a little help for education and a tiny bit of money.

Meredith MacMillan, an AmeriCorps volunteer from Ohio, says, "Right, we receive a living allowance that amounts to around $12.96 a day, and that's taxed."

Thirteen dollars a day is not a lot of money when you consider most of the work is hard labor, but then they're not in it for the money. This is the corps’ third project. Before this they were working in Baton Rouge helping victims of Hurricane Katrina, and then it was helping housing in South Carolina.

Right now there's a push to get this done before Florida Trails Month in February.

The volunteers were working on part of the Scenic Florida Trail, which meanders from the Everglades to Pensacola Beach.


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