Starved Rock Foundation

People of the Starved Rock Foundation

Pam Grivetti,

President & Secretary

Pam Grivetti is a retired kindergarten teacher from the Peru Public Schools. She has a masters degree in Outdoor Education from NIU and was employed by the Dept of Natural Resources as a summer interpreter from 1977-1981.

She has volunteered at the park since the early 70's which equates to over 45 years of continuous volunteer services! Pam was on the steering committee to establish the Starved Rock Foundation, and has been elected president every year since its inception.

Kathy Despain


Kathy Despain is a retired 2nd grade teacher from the Peru Public Schools. She came to the Foundation Board several years after its inception. Kathy started volunteering at the Park in the early 80's and brought her 2nd graders out for a day at the park each year that she taught.

Terry Warren

Board Member

A retired educator, Terry Warren took up hiking as a way to improve his health and considers his time in nature to be "ecotherapy"! He is a regular participant with the Lodge's Starved Rock Walker's Club. H e leads hikes for both the Starved Rock State Park Lodge and Visitor Center; and in his spare time is a substitute teacher!

Cindy Hopps Foundation Board Member

Cindy is a retired science teacher from JFK Jr High in Spring Valley. She has been a volunteer hike leader since the 90's and has served on the Foundation Board since the new Visitor Center was opened in 2002. Cindy is in charge of our special event weekends: Spring Wildflower, Fall Colors & Winter Wilderness.


John Muir


John Muir (yes, that really is his name) was born and brought up in England, where he qualified as a lawyer in 1972. He lived in Canada for many years before moving to Illinois in 2007 to marry Kathy, an Oglesby lady. John volunteered at Toronto Zoo in the Education Department from 2001 to 2007. He is also a hike leader at Starved Rock.

John McKee

Committee Member

John McKee, who lives in Ottawa, began volunteering in the LeRocher Gift Shop in 2003 after retiring from 42 years of executive management in a small industrial manufacturing business. While providing some structure to his retirement, his involvement in the book store, utilizes his business experience and his life long passion for natural history and books about it. His expertise also involves birds, dragonflies and creatures of this area.

Mark Walczynski

Historian and Board Member

Mark Walczynski is Foundation Historian for the Starved Rock Foundation. He is retired from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources/ Conservation Police Officer and currently teaches history, philosophy, and criminal justice at Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, Illinois. He is published in the early history of Illinois, specializing in the Franco/Native American history of the Starved Rock region. Mark presents programs and gives lectures on early Illinois history across Illinois and has been a historical consultant for DVDs, books, and websites. His book is available in our Le Rocher Gift Shop, "Starved Rock The First 100 Years"

Volunteer Coordinators: John Muir

Lisa Sons, Frank & Kris Borkowsky

BookStore Coordinator: John McKee

Email Coordinator: Lisa Sons

Garden Coordinator: NEEDED

Park Historian: Mark Walczynski

Special Event Coordinator: Cindy Hopps,

Website Coordinators: Pam Grivetti

Sarah Walczynski