A former chemistry teacher, Bob Bailey knew some of his self-worth came from helping others and doing something that mattered. When he retired, he looked into volunteering. For over four years, Bob has been keeping Columbia’s trees healthy as a TreeKeeper and keeping Columbia’s trails clean and safe as a Park Patroller.
Park Patrol volunteers are extra eyes and ears on the trail. They help with situations, pass information along, and monitor the trails.
Bob admits he chose volunteer opportunities that mirrored his pre-retirement interests: TreeKeepers for his enjoyment of gardening and the environment, and Park Patrol for his joy of biking. Formerly, as Coordinator of the Environmental Club at Rockbridge, Bob participated in highway cleanups and planted trees around the school. Now he participates in Cleanup Columbia and TreeKeepers. He and his wife have cycled across the US. Now he bikes Columbia’s trails as a Park Patrol.
“It allows me to do two things at once,” Bob says of volunteering. “You feel like you are part of a larger group. At the end of the day you feel better about yourself because you’ve done something for others.”
~Written by volunteer Theresa Nelson