Volunteer Honored at Navajo Park
PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colo. – A long-time volunteer at Navajo State Park has been honored by the state of Colorado and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission for contributing 20,000 hours of service.
Terry Zink, known as the jack-of-all trades, started volunteering at the park as a year-round volunteer in 2002.
“I don’t know what I’d do without him,” said Brian Sandy, manager at Navajo State Park. “He knows how to fix everything: the irrigation system, the showers, the water system, the park vehicles, everything.”
Zink was honored June 8 at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting held in Pagosa Springs. He was given the two flags – state and U.S ‒ that flew over the Colorado State Capitol on April 4, the day his volunteer service reached 20,000 hours. He was also presented with an honorary proclamation signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
“We’re honoring him for 20,000 hours, but I’m sure he’s done more than that. His service is equivalent to someone who’s worked for nine years in a paid position,” Sandy said. “He’s proud of the park and he takes a lot of pride in everything here and in everything he does,” Sandy said.
But Zink doesn’t just fix things. He’s an expert griller and cooks for many park events, and he’s always happy to help guests, even after hours. Zink said it’s in his nature to take on the work.
“I’m not one to sit around, I’ve been hyper all my life,” Zink said. “I like to see things get better and I like to work to make them better.”
His favorite part of the job is meeting the park guests.
“The people who visit really show appreciation for the park and to the staff,” Zink said
Doug Secrist, who retired as park manager in 2015, worked with Zink for many years.
“He made my job so much easier; it was really a comfort for me to know he was there and that he had the skills to do so many things,” Secrist said. “He’s an incredible asset to the park, an incredible asset to the public and he always provided tremendous service to park customers.”
Even after all these years, Zink has no plans to stop volunteering. He and his wife, Carol, live in a travel trailer at the park. She also works during the summer for the park and volunteers the remainder of the year.
Navajo State Park is located southwest of Pagosa Springs. The 2,100-acre park provides access to the 15,000-acre Navajo Reservoir that straddles Colorado and New Mexico. The park features a boat ramp, marina, 138 camp sites and miles of hiking trails. For more information, call the park at 970-883-2208.