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New Mexico State Park thanks volunteers during National Volunteer Appreciation Week

National Volunteer Appreciation Week April 23-29, 2017

We can’t spell Vol_nteer without “U”!

Santa Fe, NM – Officials at New Mexico State Parks are sending out a big thank you to all their volunteers for their extraordinary service to New Mexico State Parks during National Volunteer Appreciation Week.

New Mexico State Parks (NMSP) has approximately 2,300 volunteers and Friends Group members and has 22 Friends Groups who support the parks. These groups and individuals are a vital component of NM State Park operations. The quality of the visitor experience is, in large part, a result of their work and dedication. In addition, staffing shortfalls at individual parks are regularly supplemented by the efforts of experienced and seasoned volunteers.

Pete Martinez, State of NM Retiree and State Park Volunteer manages the reception desk at State Parks’ headquarters in Santa Fe

“We love their enthusiasm and dedication. Many return seasonally as camp hosts and work year around as Friends members bringing talents, expertise and love of camping and the outdoors to our visitors”, said Christy Tafoya, Director, New Mexico State Parks. She added, “Park staff couldn’t do what they do without them and for many, the staff are like family and the park is like home”.

Janice Krish, NMSP Volunteer Coordinator said, “Throughout the year, and most notably during our annual State Parks Employee Recognition Program, we honor and recognize outstanding volunteers. During National Volunteer Appreciation week, we truly thank them for the many ways they make it easier for staff and pleasant for visitors every day. Volunteers are our best natural resource. Thank you from all of us at New Mexico State Parks!”

Here’s what one of our Volunteer’s had to say:

“This is my first camping experience in north western NM. I have finally found a home and it’s the only home I have ever had. The only place that I have seen such professionalism, dedication to duty and honesty, other than here, was in the military.”

Earl Hatmaker, former Camp Host, El Vado Lake State Park

Volunteers are always needed for camp hosting. Camp Hosts receive a campsite (with utility hookups where available) and hands-on training by experienced park staff in exchange for a commitment of 24 hours a week of service. A two-month term of service is strongly encouraged and schedules are flexible based on the parks needs and volunteer availability.

Friends Groups are also looking for new members to help with park events! To register as a volunteer, visit and click on the ‘Volunteer’ section. Complete an on-line application or call Janice Krish at 505-476-3375.

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