Category Archives: New Jersey

Volunteers and Butterflies

IMG_2139(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

The unexpected theme of today’s environmental volunteer story search is butterflies. The first story comes out of New Jersey, at the Howell Living History Farm, where volunteers are counting butterflies. Like the bird watchers in my previous post, these volunteers will help collect data on all the butterfly species in the area and how healthy those populations are. Not too far away, in Maryland, volunteers will be part of creating and maintaining a newly protected area of land. One of the major goals of this effort is protecting and preserving the state insect, the Baltimore checkerspot butterfly.  The Susquehannock Wildlife Society and the Maryland DNR are working together to create the protected area where the butterfly can hopefully establish itself and thrive. Here’s a link to a page where you can check out a  photo of your own state insect.

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Volunteers Help to Map the Ocean Floor

P1000226(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Ok, so it’s not EXACTLY the ocean, but it’s a body of water that’s connected to the ocean. In this case, it’s Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, which runs from the Atlantic Ocean up along the Jersey coast for around 40 miles. And, as this press release points out, the bay’s ecosystems, especially in the soil at the bottom, have been seriously impacted over the years. And not impacted in a good way. Now, volunteers are helping the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to sample the soil on the floor of the bay. With the volunteers assistance, scientists have been sampling and mapping the soil, a process which will go along way toward restoring the bay’s ecological health. According to the release, “The Earth Team volunteer program helps the agency meet conservation needs in communities. Volunteers enable NRCS to stretch available resources and help put additional conservation practices on the ground.” Or, in this case, in the water.

 

If you have enjoyed any of the stories on this blog, check out my eBook: Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day

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Volunteering in All Kinds of Weather

IMG_0620(photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Recently, I posted a story about a couple of volunteers in New Jersey who showed up in frigid temperatures to pick up trash. Today, there’s another story about New Jersey volunteers who did not let weather stop them from doing important environmental volunteer work. This time, volunteers showed up in the rain to clean an area along the Jersey shore, just south of Atlantic City. The South Jersey Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation led the effort in Ventnor, where even the mayor pitched in and helped out. This great event proves again that dedicated volunteers will not let bad weather stop them from helping their community and the planet.

 

If you have enjoyed any of the stories on my blog, I hope you’ll consider downloading my eBook, Being Where You Are: How environmental Volunteers Impact their Community and the Planet Every Day:

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Two Volunteers Against the Cold

IMG_0455(photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

In a recent post, I mentioned that I was finding lots of volunteer stories from southern California and other sunny climates. Of course, even in the frigid winter months, volunteer work is essential and necessary, regardless of how low the mercury drops. This great story out of Vineland, New Jersey, features two volunteers who showed up for the Vineland Environmental Commission’s monthly volunteer day. Due to temperatures that dropped into the teens, the event got a much smaller crowd than usual. Still, these two dedicated volunteers arrived at the event ready to take on the cold and the litter that was lining the road along Bennett’s Mill Nature Area.

If you have enjoyed any of the stories on my blog, please consider downloading my eBook, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day:

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It Takes a Village…of Volunteers

IMG_1497(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

I’ve posted a number of stories here about volunteers who received awards and honors for their work. The recognition and praise is always well deserved and often proves just how much of an impact one person can have. This story out of New Jersey caught my eye because it’s about an award that was given to a group of people who worked together to accomplish a wonderful environmental project. The project being recognized was a rain garden which was installed at Southern Boulevard School, a  K-3 school in the town of Chatham. The statewide award was given to the Chatham Township Environmental Commission, which spearheaded the effort, along with students, parents and school staff members. There was even some help from a grant awarded by the Nature Conservancy. Successful projects such as this one demonstrate how people in a community can come together to create something that will benefit the natural environment while at the same time bringing both joy and educational opportunities to the human population.

The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions gives out the Environmental Achievement Award, which was bestowed to a number of communities. Click here to find out more about the Association and what they do.

Protecting an Oasis

Through the Trees(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

In urban and suburban areas, small patches of green space are invaluable and always in need of protection. Often, if not most of the time, it’s volunteers who do the protecting. In Haddon Township, in the middle of the heavily developed Camden County, New Jersey,  the tiny piece of forest known as Saddler’s Woods is maintained and preserved by an all-volunteer organization, the Saddler’s Woods Conservation Association. The work they do is invaluable and goes a long way to ensure that people living in this thickly settled forest of suburbia have “an oasis of beauty and tranquility” to experience and enjoy. At only twenty-five acres large, and just five miles from the city of Philadelphia, it is an important oasis indeed.