Category Archives: San Antonio

Volunteers Clean Up Texas

big-bend-113099_640(photo by David Mark, courtesy of Pixabay.com)

by Robert Barossi

I don’t often put two different stories in one blog post (maybe I should do that more often), but this morning I came across two great stories which happen to both be from the Lone Star State. The fact that they’re both in Texas is just one important similarity, though. Another is the fact that they both involve college students getting involved in major environmental volunteer efforts. While many volunteers are older, retired citizens, it’s vitally important to get younger people, the volunteers of the future, involved and get them involved at a young age. In Austin, college students are just a fraction of the estimated three thousand volunteers who will participate in It’s My Park Day. The annual event, led by the Austin Parks Foundation, is a city-wide effort to clean up all of Austin’s parks. Ladye Anne Wofford, programs director for the Foundation, says she hopes “students will discover more of Austin’s parks and join our volunteers who work to preserve and improve those parks year-round.” In another great Texas city, San Antonio, student volunteers were involved in a similar major cleanup effort. According to this story out of University of Texas, San Antonio, nearly 100 students were involved in an event designed to clean up the San Antonio watershed. The annual event, called the Basura Bash, was designed to clean local waterways and utilized the efforts of hundreds of community volunteers, including those from multiple environmentally-themed student organizations at UTSA.

If you enjoyed 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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Teaching Kids About Gardens and More

IMG_2597(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

One of the most important roles an environmental volunteer can take on is that of educator. At numerous sites, volunteers make up the staff of educators at nature centers, discovery centers, aquariums and other places where the public visit. Volunteers are the ones teaching children and adults about everything from birds of prey to local marine life to native plants. As this story from Texas tells us, volunteers are providing invaluable education about gardens, pollinators and horticulture to children in San Antonio, including those who live in urban areas. These kids, many of whom might not otherwise get close exposure to gardens and plants, are being given a chance to connect with nature in direct, hands-on ways. Programs like Youth Gardens and Kids, Kows and More,  as well as events like the BOOTanical Halloween event, are  staffed and supported by a number of volunteers. These dedicated people are providing an incredible opportunity for kids to learn about and connect with their natural world, even though they live in a major metropolitan area.