Meet Volunteer Carol Westerfield

Carol Westerfield Flexes Her Mussels for FL.O.O.R.

“The oysters just really interested me, so I came to an oyster bagging event and I loved it,” says Kentucky native Carol Westerfield. Carol joined Florida Oceanographic Society’s volunteer team, and has given more than 100 hours in the last two years.

Carol is a vital part of the FL.O.O.R. (Florida Oceanographic Oyster Restoration) program, which restores oyster habitat by constructing reefs with bagged oyster shells recycled from local restaurants. Carol comes early to oyster bagging events to prep the bags so that volunteers can be as productive as possible. “We get into a rhythm and the pile of completed bags grows pretty fast,” says Carol. “The shucked shells can be a little smelly, but I’ve been around animals all my life, so I don’t even notice it.”

For more than 25 years, Carol worked for renowned American Thoroughbred racehorse trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The trainer’s winter base was in Florida, and early on, Carol fell in love with the City of Stuart. She and her husband Gary spend most of the year here, and summer with family in her home state of Kentucky.

Carol keeps a busy schedule in retirement. In addition to oyster bagging and volunteering at Coastal Center events, she and her Shetland Sheepdog Tally Ho spend four mornings a week visiting hospitals, nursing homes and college campuses for pet therapy. Misty’s Pals is a pet therapy program of the Humane Society of Treasure Coast.

Carol is also a long-distance runner. “I had never run for the first 42 years of my life, but found I enjoy what my legs can do other than ride a horse,” says Carol. “I’ve run marathons and half marathons for 16 years now.”

When pet therapy and oyster bagging were on hold during the pandemic, Carol took on an ambitious project. With a chainsaw, shovel, and pickup truck for leverage, Carol cleared an area full of cactuses to create a dog park in her complex. “Tally Ho loves going there and I think my neighbors really appreciate it,” says Carol. “People have donated flowers and small trees which we’ve planted to make it really nice.” It’s clear that Carol is ‘unshellfish’ with her time!

Carol Westerfield Snapshot

Born in: Richmond, KY

Alma mater: B.S. in Agriculture Management, Eastern Kentucky University

Good eats: Café Boonma

Taste in tunes: Country music

Tally Ho’s tale: Rescued by Carol from an Ohio quick-kill shelter at age 2. He’s grown into a confident, happy therapy dog who especially loves seniors and people with disabilities.

Volunteer Spotlight