Rock Ledge especially needs docents this year

       Always a haven for volunteers, the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site needs them more than ever for the 2010 season.

Rock Ledge Ranch's Junior Docents carried a banner for the historic site in the Coronado High Homecoming Parade last September.
Westside Pioneer photo

       “With the city budget cuts, everyone has more work now,” explained lead interpreter Elizabeth Barber. “Even the city's volunteer coordinator lost her job. So more work has fallen on other people, and having more volunteers helps that situation.”
       Rock Ledge is a 230-acre working ranch, modeled after the Chambers family who farmed and ranched there in the late 19th century. The main season is the summertime (Wednesdays through Saturdays), plus several special events.
       Applications are being accepted for adults as well as junior docents (age 10 to 16). The preferred time frame for adults is no later than April, to allow training time before the season starts June 5, although “we can always use more adult volunteers,” Barber said.
       With the junior docents, applications will be taken until April 17 or until 90 applications are submitted, “whichever comes first,” she said.
       Rock Ledge docents - adult as well as junior - dress in historic clothes (some of which are provided by Rock Ledge) and work in different ranch areas to provide an old-time feel for visitors. Docents with experience in retail work are needed for the Heritage Shop (gift shop).
       Not all adult volunteers are docents. Help is also needed for chores such as office work, gardening or taking tickets, Barber said.
       The city budget was so tight this year that the ranch is only receiving normal funding through March 31. A volunteer fundraising effort, plus money in a gift trust account and anticipated gate proceeds this year, have kept the ranch from closing. However, fundraising is continuing so that Rock Ledge can continue to stay open in 2011.
       Application forms for volunteers are available on the city website in the Parks Department's volunteering area. For more information, call Barber at 578-6781.

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