Bismarck, ND – Icelandic State Park near Cavalier, North Dakota is hosting A Year to Volunteer, an RV-centric organization that brings volunteers from across the country to improve parks through various hands-on projects.
The crew of 25 volunteers began serving the state park Aug. 6. They have replaced siding and windows on the Akra Community Hall and applied a fresh coat of stain on the Pioneer Heritage Center. By the time they depart on Aug. 18, they will also have completed some landscaping and trail maintenance.
“It’s very inspiring to see them come together from all over the country, work so well together and get so much done in a short time,” said Icelandic State Park Manager Mike Duerre. “It can often take a number of years for us to have the funding to tackle projects of this size, but with all these people cutting the labor bill out of the equation, it relieves a lot of pressure from our maintenance budget.”
After the more than 1,000 volunteer hours at Icelandic State Park, the total A Year to Volunteer team of 500 members will surpass 45,000 volunteers hours since the organization began in February 2020. A Year to Volunteer coordinators Phil and Shar Roos say they love to welcome new volunteers as they move across the country.
“We’re always looking for more people and everyone in our group says they’re totally coming back to North Dakota,” said Shar Roos. “The area is beautiful, the people are so nice; there’s nothing not to love about North Dakota.”
“People need to set their sights further north,” said Phil Roos. “You have amazing sights to see here. The people and the park are fantastic.”
Icelandic State Park is the site of the group’s 36th project in its 23rd state. The organization’s volunteers range from age 3 to 82, but the typical volunteers are retirees between the ages of 55-65.
While the team is primarily RV enthusiasts who enjoy traveling the country, the Roos’ encourage anyone in the area, or those just passing through, to join their movement.
North Dakota Parks and Recreation welcomes local and regional volunteer groups to serve state parks with various maintenance and building projects to help meet its mission to enrich generations through experiences that connect people and places.
> Learn more about volunteering