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Wildcat Den Friends Group to be honored for volunteer work

The Friends of the Pine Creek Grist Mill at Wildcat Den State Park will be honored at the Governor’s Volunteer Awards, Aug. 30, in Cedar Rapids.

The group will be recognized for their long-term commitment and service to Wildcat Den, preserving, maintaining and interpreting the historic Pine Creek Grist Mill within the park.

Organized in 1996, the group has collectively donated more than 60,000 volunteer hours to restore the mill to operational condition, making it one of the oldest working mills of its kind between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains.

 “The group continues to raise thousands of dollars each year to maintain the mill and staff it with interpreters five days of the week during the recreational season,” says Gwen Prentice, DNR park ranger for Wildcat Den. “These volunteers are Wildcat Den's frontline who share their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the mill and the state park each day.”

According to Prentice, the mill is one of Muscatine County's top tourist destinations.

In addition to annual maintenance and seasonal staffing, each spring the Friends of Pine Creek Grist Mill hosts as an average of 15 school groups for field trips to teach educational programs to young Iowans.  

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