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Refuge welcomes short-term employee

By Staff | Feb 18, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Brent Robbins

Brent Robbins recently joined the staff at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in the six-month position of maintenance worker helper. He will assist the maintenance team in keeping the refuge clean, trimmed and in safe top-shape for visitors and wildlife.

Robbins comes from the Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility in Camp Springs, Maryland, where he cared for the grounds of Air Force One, Air Force Two and the entire 1,500-acre flight line. He has already taken to Sanibel and its balmy climates, especially the biking trails.

“I am just looking forward to working with all the talented and passionate interns, volunteers and the rest of the Fish & Wildlife staff,” Robbins said.

Entry fees to Wildlife Drive are helping to fund Robbins’ stint at the refuge to assist permanent staff, which has been cut back due to federal budget shortcomings, through the busy winter season.

“We are so happy to welcome Brent. His help is badly needed right now,” Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland said. “Without short-term employees such as Brent, our seasonal resident volunteers and other volunteers and interns, we would be forced to shorten the hours the refuge opens. We just couldn’t make it with regular staff.”

The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge assists with staffing by supporting interns and paying the salary of a full-time conservation educator.