Joey Garofano
Joey Garofano
Visitor services intern Joey Garofano arrived recently to help the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island with staffing shortages this fall, thanks to funding from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

Garofano, a 2018 graduate from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, holds a bachelor’s degree in youth programming and camp management, with an emphasis in environmental education and interpretation. Through May 2019, he will be assisting supervisory refuge ranger Toni Westland in overseeing programs and amenities for the more than one million annual visitors to the refuge.

Most recently, Garofano, who hails from Mahtomedi, Minn., worked as a Leaders in Training Director at Sargent Camp in Hancock, N.H.

“I’m looking forward to learning about the everyday operations at a wildlife refuge,” said the new intern. “’Ding’ Darling is such an exceptional place to work, and I love the tranquil beauty that this island provides.”

“We welcome Joey’s energy and enthusiasm to the team,” said Westland. “We thank our friends group for making his internship possible. With our shrinking staff, due to federal budget cuts, it’s crucial for this sort of partnership to keep the refuge running.”

For more information about the refuge’s internship programs, contact Westland at 239-472-1100 ext. 237. To learn about supporting the refuge intern program, contact Birgie Miller, DDWS executive director, at 239-472-1100 ext. 4.