“I get by with a little help from my friends.” If a park could sing, Lake Louise State Park would be singing this tune. This park has just one employee who makes a regular appearance in the park (other staff are shared with the nearby Forestville-Mystery Cave State Park), and she does it all with a little help from her friends.
Sally Vietor started as the buildings and grounds worker at Lake Louise nine years ago. One year into her job, she started attending the meetings of the association and this last year she took on the role of president.
It’s a small but dedicated group of members who come from the nearby small towns, including LeRoy, which borders the park. Vietor explains that it’s largely older, retired folks who care about the park and want to see others appreciate it as much as they do.
The group organizes three main events every year: an open house, a get-together in appreciation for the camp hosts and a candle-lit walk event. All the events include food and refreshments but they go all-out for the open house with a full-day of music and activities. “We’re lucky because we have a lot of local musicians who donate their talent to the event,” says Vietor.
When the budget cuts came last year and the vault toilet in the picnic grounds by the beach was about to be closed, the association members volunteered to do the job of cleaning it every week.
Vietor says that the association is critical to keeping this park open. “They are spreading the word to come camp here and it’s working.”