Questions surround dismissal of well-known, well-respected Dickinson State Park volunteers

Dick Roberts retired in 2005 after 35 years of service and since then has volunteered more than 22,400 hours for the park and the river. His wife, Lorraine, worked alongside him as a volunteer. (Source: The Palm Beach Post)


From Sally Swartz, Palm Beach Post award-winning blogger: Dick Roberts served as the first district naturalist for southeast Florida, and first park biologist for Jonathan Dickinson State Park and the Loxahatchee National Wild and Scenic River.

Dick Roberts has worked closely with the South Florida Water Management District on park projects, studying ways to restore and improve conditions on the Loxahatchee.

In April, the park service’s District 5 office, which manages parks from Fort Pierce to Key West, was considering Roberts for special recognition during National Volunteer Month. A District 5 employee prepared all the information to nominate him but missed the deadline.

Less than four months later, Roberts’ equipment and research files were moved from the office he used. District 5 assistant bureau chief Art Yerian and parks employee Beth Haslage told him to get everything out and turn in his key and in a series of nasty emails threatened to call law-enforcement officials if they didn’t comply.

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