Seashore Volunteer Ed Johnson Enjoys the Work
Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-473-2111
Ed Johnson has put in a lot of hours as a volunteer at Cape Hatteras National Seashore over the past three years -- 3,461 to be exact.As a summer volunteer on Ocracoke Island as the Ocracoke Campground and a winter volunteer at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on Hatteras Island, Ed has made volunteering for the National Park Service at Cape Hatteras National Seashore a year-round experience.
A retired high school geography teacher originally from Georgia, Ed finds the multiple stories and varied histories on the Outer Banks very engaging.He has spent a multitude of hours studying the history of the villages and their families. "This wonderful long and unique history is fascinating," said Johnson.
Ed's favorite things about working as a Cape Hatteras National Seashore volunteer are the Ocracoke ponies and people. "Both the Ocracoke ponies and the Ocracoke people share characteristics -- they are friendly, they are tough, and they are resilient. They have a special shared history."
Ed has made many friends in Ocracoke Village. Besides volunteering for the National Park Service, he also volunteers at the Ocracoke Community Market. The ponies consider him a friend too."I grew up with horses," said Johnson. "When I come to feed the ponies, they know me and set to neighing. I spent time with each and every one of them."
Johnson also has enjoyed his winter stints at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse -- or as he calls it "the premier lighthouse in the country.""People are excited to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and we get an international clientele here."
Overall, Johnson loves working with the National Park Service and helping to represent the agency to park visitors."I find the preserve and protect mission of the National Park Service as extremely valuable," said Johnson. "I'm developing roots here -- I fell in love with it and plan on staying here as long as I can."
For more information on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, visit www.nps.gov/cahaor call 252-473-2111.
Did You Know?
In the 1700s, Ocracoke Inlet was one of the busiest inlets in the East. It was one of the few navigable waterways for ships accessing inland ports such as Elizabeth City, Edenton or New Bern. It was here that Blackbeard the pirate found the inlet's heavy shipping traffic ripe for easy pickings.