The St. Marks National Wildlife and Refugee reached out to hire environmental college students to help preserve the historic landmark Saturday.
Located in St. Marks just outside of Wakulla,. the park is recreational preserve that has been established since the early 1800s. One of the most profound attractions at this park is the Lighthouse.
According to the history, in 1828 the U.S. House of Representatives authorized the construction of a lighthouse at the mouth of the St. Marks River. The 65-foot tall, hollow-walled tower located on the east-side of the river was completed in March 1830 for $11,765.
Chantal Blanton is the senior refugee ambassador for the park. Blanton has worked for years with park in order preserve the wildlife habitat, fulfill her love for animals, and bring awareness to upcoming animal projects.
“We are currently working on our Whooping Crane, and Red Cockaded Woodpecker projects,” Blanton said.
She added that the projects were created to help the native endangered birds survive and come back to its natural home, but they need the support from the students because of low funding.
“Being that the park is free, we struggle with funding for these issues and that is why we need students’ help,” she said.
Rachel Mackenzie is a third-year Florida State University biology student from West Palm Beach. She just completed her internship while serving as a St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer.
“One of the Rangers has tried to use back-packs as one of the ways to catalogue the endangered species. In the backpacks visitors can get binoculars, GPS systems, and maps to help them along the trails.”
The park used to be a dock area for all incoming ships exchanging resources from other countries. The park asked that people be aware of other animals such as Alligators who have claimed this as their home too.
Tourist equipment can be rented at the visitor’s center where they will be also collecting donations for the Wildlife projects.
All who are interested and would like to register to become a St. Marks Student Refugee Volunteer can log on to the website http://www.fws.gov/home/climatechange/index.html for more information.