Q&A with Lime Kiln volunteers Dennis Linden and Shirley Zyph

Journal: How long have you been volunteering at the park?

Linden: Every Saturday and Sunday since the building opened five seasons ago.

Zyph: About three years, working in the interpretive center gift shop area. I also have been helping do the lighthouse tours on Thursday evenings.

Journal: What are your duties?

Zyph: Manning the gift shop area, answering questions customers ask and interacting with them regarding what they have seen, where they are from, giving out trail maps and giving them a brief rundown of the various trails and other things to do on the island.

Right now I am scheduled there one morning a week. I would love to do more, I just need to find the time.

Journal: Why do you volunteer?

Zyph: I really enjoy talking to the visitors and finding out where they are from. That in itself is amazing.

I love interacting with the people, their information and their questions.

Linden: I see the impact that a little education about the social structure of the orca pods and the frail condition of  environment that they are trying to survive in, can have on unsuspecting visitors.

I have watched individuals walk into the center not even aware that there were local killer whales to be seen here and leave 30 minutes later resolved to do something in their own lives to help revitalize the salmon population. It usually starts with asking where the whales are, but often ends after a rousing give-and-take discussion on what each of us can do to help protect these magnificent creatures and the environment that is poisoning them.

The fascinating thing for me is the dialog and watching a visitor kind of discover the environment through new eyes.