provided to Santiva Chronicle
Brent Robbins joined the staff at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge this month in the six-month position of maintenance worker helper. He comes to the refuge from Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility in Camp Springs, Md., where he cared for the grounds of Air Force One, Air Force Two, and the entire 1,500-acre flight line.
He has already taken to Sanibel Island and its balmy climates and especially the biking trails. He will be assisting the maintenance team in keeping the refuge clean, trimmed and in safe, top shape for visitors and wildlife.
“I am just looking forward to working with all the talented and passionate interns, volunteers, and the rest of the Fish & Wildlife staff,” he said. Entry fees to Wildlife Drive help fund Robbins’ short-term stint at “Ding” Darling to assist permanent staff, which has been cut back due to federal budget shortcomings, through the busy winter season.
“We are so happy to welcome Brent. His help is badly needed right now,” said supervisory refuge ranger Toni Westland. “Without short-term employees such as Brent, our seasonal resident volunteers and other volunteers and interns, we would be forced to shorten the hours the refuge opens. We just couldn’t make it with regular staff.”
“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) assists with staffing by supporting interns and paying the salary of a full-time conservation educator.