Ten years ago, a group of 8 and 9 year-olds inspired Jim Schmidt, VP of Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges INC., to start the Work/Play Day program. The program happens once a month; in the summer months the groups tend to the gardens, enjoy lunch together and end the day with a canoe outing. The Work/Play Day program works solely based on volunteers and is centered at the US Fish & Wildlife Headquarters for SE Louisiana, which covers 8 refuges sites. Volunteers come as groups – drawing crowds from all school ages, as well as churches – in addition to individual volunteers looking to clean up the sites. Besides cleaning up the gardens and wildlife sites, volunteers can work in the visitor’s center or help with educational programs.
If you are interested in volunteering, or for more information, visit http://www.fws.gov/southeastlouisiana/.
Stephanie Gleber, a film student in the Department of Film and Theatre at the University of New Orleans, spent some time at the SE Louisiana Headquarters and created a short documentary about the program:
The Film and Theatre Department of UNO and NolaVie present this series of short films produced by the students in Laszlo Fulop’s documentary class. Read Renee Peck’s column about the program here.