It takes a lot of people to make Mistletoe State Park what it is, and one group in particular is doing their part to help.
Friends of Mistletoe State Park, which numbers around 20, volunteer their time and efforts to help out around the park, said Brenda Bettross, a program assistant at Mistletoe.
"Georgia State Parks has thousands of Friends members," she said. "Mistletoe State Park sold over 300 Friends memberships last year. However, most people buy the membership for the discounts and not to be active Friends members of the park."
Friends of Mistletoe State Park helps in various ways, according to Bettross.
"They can help everywhere," she said. "Programming, trail cleanup, maintenance and special events. They can help with hayrides, bring more ideas to the park for our visitors, fundraising ideas and much more. All the money that Friends makes is put back into Mistletoe State Park."
One of the group's ongoing fundraising efforts is the sale of bluebird houses. The houses, made of either redwood or pine, are being sold through the park office. Pat Glover is one of a handful of Friends who help to build the houses.
"Before I retired a few years ago, I started doing some carpentry work," said Glover, an Evans resident. "Me and my woodworking partner -- Richard Morris -- have built some cabinets, bookshelves and music boxes."
The duo, both Friends of Mistletoe, have built about 40 birdhouses for the group's fundraiser.
"What I really like is that the redwood boxes, which Richard and I build, are made from recycled wood that was once used for signs around the park," said Glover.
The redwood birdhouses cost $20, while the pine birdhouses cost $15.
Glover said he enjoys doing projects for the park and has also helped build a bulletin board and storage cabinet used in the office area.
"It's just a really neat bunch of people up there," he said. "Some of the volunteers are transient. They stay for three or four months and then move on to another park or go back home. It's just a fun group of people. It definitely doesn't seem like work when we are helping."
The Friends of Mistletoe State Park will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Individuals interested in learning more about the group are invited to attend. For information about Friends of Mistletoe or about the meeting, call Sheryl Silva, Friends of Mistletoe's president, at the park office at (706) 541-0321.
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