Fred Folmer has been volunteering with RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) for the Swatara Watershed Association in Lebanon County for about the last 11 years.

Folmer currently serves on the SWA board of directors as secretary and does work all over the Swatara Park and the Swatara Sojourn. In addition, Folmer works on projects at the Bordner Cabin in Swatara State Park.

With all of that, Folmer still finds time to serve as a liaison between the Swatara Watershed Association and other environmentally oriented organizations.

From 2007 through 2019, Folmer served as secretary for the Environmental Advisory Council in Bethel Township, Berks County.

Folmer was born and raised and spent most of his life in Lebanon. He taught school for 18 years, mostly as an earth and space science teacher. Folmer retired in 2009 and has been an active volunteer since.

Folmer and his wife, Shirley, are the parents of two grown sons and have three grandchildren.

When asked why he enjoys volunteering, Folmer says: “I enjoy doing this kind of work simply because it needs to be done. I take some satisfaction knowing that I have helped to preserve and protect the forests, waters, and lands.”

Some of his enjoyment comes from working alongside other likeminded volunteers who share a similar conservation and preservation philosophy.

His advice to other volunteers is “to do things because it’s the right thing to do and needs to be done. Don’t do it just for a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, or you will always feel empty.”

If you are over 55 and would like to volunteer in your community, contact Margie Groy, Lebanon/Lancaster RSVP development coordinator, at (717) 454-8647 or

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