Volunteer Arena with Alice Koontz

By Alice Koontz 


On April 7th, 2012, my husband, Walt, and I came to the Jefferson National Forest to volunteer at Green Cove Station. The only thing we knew about Green Cove were the pictures we seen online and that it is on the Virginia Creeper Trail. The first time I walked into the building it felt like I stepped back in time. The artifacts that dated back to the 50’s and 60’s were astonishing. Green Cove is filled with so much history; if only the walls could talk! 


Walt started reading everything he could find on Green Cove and soon started giving great tours. I was busy with selling shirts, candy, soft drinks and such. 


That June, we were honored to meet Mr. Buchanan’s granddaughter and her husband (Mr. Buchanan operated the general store for 60 years). She told us that when people would come in to get things on credit he would whistle “Standing on the Promises” and when they would pay on their bill he would whistle “Bringing in the Sheaves.” We had a wonderful time meeting new friends and learning about the great little community of Green Cove.


My Walt went to Heaven on January 22, 2014, and I miss his smiling face and all the wonderful times we had together. In the winter of 2014, I received a call from the volunteer coordinator at Mount Rogers, asking if I would like to volunteer at Green Cove again. Of course I said, yes! When I returned on May 27, 2015 I could feel Walt’s presence everywhere. It was hard at first, especially when I was in Green Cove, but then all the old and new friends came along and now it feels like home.

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