Terry WiseRifle, CO Colorado

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August 15, 2012
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A great "krewe" at Rifle Gap State Park

What an interesting character is Marty Anspach, a seasonal maintenance guy. This is my first interview with one of our maintenance guys. It's also Marty's first year at Rifle Gap State Park Complex and his position entails keeping all three of our parks pristine, which includes taking care of trash and restrooms. Marty takes great pride in providing all of our visitors a clean, beautiful park. He sincerely appreciates every "thank you" from our visitors for the effort our staff makes. Marty's home town is Fort Wayne, Ind., but he calls Wild Acres Ranch in Rifle his home. On his days off, he works on remodeling his new home. I asked Marty why he wanted to work at Rifle Gap and he said, "After retiring from 50 years of factory work, it is a blessing from the Lord to get to be outside in the mountains. It is heaven on earth." Marty loves meeting all sorts of wonderful people. He estimates he probably meets 100 new people every day. Everyone he meets makes his life a little richer in some way, he says. Marty tells me the hidden treasures at our parks are the people I work with, from our park manager, Aaron Fero, to our volunteer camp hosts and everyone in between. Each and every one has the same goal, which is to make every visitor's experience the best possible.Speaking of camp hosts and volunteers at Rifle Gap State Park.Our summer 2012 camp hosts and volunteers took a moment from their busy day to pose for a photo at Rifle Gap State Park. Volunteers have gathered at Rifle Gap from all over the United States. Some come from our own backyard in Rifle (Larry Bernat) and Parachute (Fred Noble), Basalt (Terry and Sharon Began) and Littleton (yours truly). We have camp hosts Judy and Allen Killion from Plano, Texas (home of J.R. Ewing in the hit TV series "Dallas"). There's Butch and Nancy Beimer from Moody, Texas; Darrell Medders and Dianna Myrick from Kansas, Okla.; and Harris Burns from Parker, Ariz. We can't forget Pat and Gayle Stephens from Covington, La., one of the southern cities that celebrate Mardi Gras. One of our camp hosts, Frank Falke from Bonner Springs, Kan., volunteers all year long. I think he calls Rifle his home. Our three parks are pristine and ready for visitors, weddings, inspections and environmental education programs thanks to these great camp hosts, park naturalist volunteers and all our staff.Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls and Harvey Gap are managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, created with the merger of Colorado State Parks and Division of Wildlife. The agency manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado's wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs. For more, go online to www.parks.state.co.us and http://wildlife.state.co.us.Terry Wise is the summer season park naturalist and volunteer coordinator for the Rifle Gap State Park Complex. Reach her at 625-1607.

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The Post Independent Updated Aug 15, 2012 06:03PM Published Aug 15, 2012 06:01PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.