Tag Archives: environmental volunteers

Environmental Volunteers in Space?

Through the TreesPhoto by Robert Barossi

by Robert Barossi

Ok, so the volunteers aren’t actually in space. But they are using images taken from space to do important volunteer work that’s having a major impact. As this article from Christian Science Monitor points out, satellite images and aerial photography are being used as an important tool in the work of environmental volunteers. Working along with organizations such as SkyTruth, volunteers can use the images taken from space to identify earth-bound locations that are impacting the local environment, such as fracking well sites.  Images taken from space can be now be an important part of environmental activism and advocacy as well as an essential element of citizen science efforts aimed at collecting environmental data.

If you’ve enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day

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Fifty Years of Volunteer Work

Through the Treesphoto by Robert Barossi

by Robert Barossi

Many environmental volunteer stories deal with a one-time event or shot term project. Others stories, though, demonstrate how volunteers are often involved with a particular place for a long period of time. In upstate New York, just outside of Syracuse, the Baltimore Woods Nature Center has been connecting local citizens with their natural surroundings for five decades. And, as this story points out, community members and volunteers have been a part of the nature center’s work since the very beginning. Speaking of those volunteers, Executive Director Kate Intaglietta says, “Very few of them, if you ask, really knew each other before they came to Baltimore Woods. What’s inspiring for a lot of us in the work we do is … to see what that’s done for the organization in the past 50 years and to see what they’re excited about for the next 50 years.”

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

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Volunteers at the Film Festival

IMG_0304

Photo by Robert Barossi

by Robert Barossi

After a long holiday-season hiatus, I’m finally posting the first story of the new year. A year which I’m sure will bring many more great stories of environmental volunteers and their inspiring, amazing work. There are countless ways for people to get involved and support environmental causes. This story out of Nevada City, California features volunteers who are doing just that at an environmentally-themed film festival. Along with nature and the environment, film is one of my other great passions and the Wild & Scenic Film Festival sounds like a fantastic event. I wish there were more festivals like this around the country, festivals which get people to connect with nature in new and different ways.  This one also gives people a chance to show their support for the environment by volunteering at the event. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out the festival, and while you’re there, be sure to thank the volunteers for all that they do.

There are more great environmental volunteer stories in my eBook, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Download it at the following links:

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Climate Change, Birds and Volunteers

P1000364(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

According to Weather.com, it’s 44 degrees Fahrenheit today, here in the Boston area. Above normal, for sure, but perhaps not as shocking as this coming weekend. Temperatures are expected to hit the high 50s by the end of the week and then reach 62 degrees on Sunday. That’s Sunday, December 13th. These types of unusual temperatures have numerous impacts and ripple effects, on us humans as well as every other animal species.

This great story out of upstate New York details how citizen scientist volunteers are helping collect data on birds of prey. The volunteers are working alongside professionals in Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, cataloging the presence of raptors, from owls to hawks and numerous others. They are also seeing some of the ways temperature changes are impacting the birds, such as changes in migration observed in certain owl species.

Surveying and monitoring birds is just one way to deal with the ways climate change impacts our avian friends. As described in this blog post from the National Audubon Society, volunteers can also help by  protecting and maintaining bird habitats. Specifically, the story deals with volunteers with Audubon Miami Valley in Ohio who are working to remove invasive species which are negatively impacting places where birds find food and shelter. It’s another way that we can help birds, and other species, survive in the new environments and ecosystems created by the changing climate.

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

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Environmental Volunteers Coast to Coast

Foliage Reflected

by Robert Barossi

This morning, I noticed three environmental stories that just happened to perfectly span the United States, proving once again that volunteers are working on important environmental projects from sea to shining sea.

On the east coast, in Hackensack, New Jersey, over one hundred volunteers took part in an annual event to clean up litter in open spaces around the city.

Right in the middle, in Champaign, Illinois, volunteers are working to make the city greener with a focus on recycling and litter reduction.

And on the west coast, in Sacramento, California, almost 200 volunteers picked up over 20,000 pounds of trash.

These are the kinds of inspiring environmental volunteer stories you’ll find on this blog and in my eBook, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links.

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After the Volunteers Test the Waters

IMG_0214(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

My last post offered a number of stories about volunteer efforts to clean up local rivers. Volunteers are also often the people who collect water samples from those rivers for local experts to test. There are many reasons why this is important and essential work, as detailed in this story from South Carolina. That state was recently hit with a devastating and deadly flood event. When the waters from flooding recede, they are often, if not always, filled with greater levels of bacteria, pollution and chemicals. Volunteers like the ones in the story linked above are often tasked with collecting samples of those degraded waters so that scientists can find out just how polluted or unsafe the water might be. This effort in South Carolina was led by Waccamaw Riverkeeper and their volunteers, along with volunteers from Coastal Carolina University’s Waccamaw Watershed Academy.

If you’ve enjoyed the stories on this blog, download m eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links.

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Volunteers and Coral Bleaching

P1000689

(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

On the radio this morning, there was a discussion about the massive coral bleaching event currently taking place around the world. Coral bleaching is caused when environmental conditions, such as water temperature and acidity, cause coral reefs to become stressed. The stress causes the coral to release a symbiotic algae which is what gives them their color and provides nutrients, a loss which causes the coral to become weakened.  If this leads to major coral reef deaths, it can and will seriously impact the ecosystem of our oceans and the other species who live in and among the coral reefs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explains it here and there are news stories from the BBC and Washington Post detailing the worldwide coral crisis. How does this relate to environmental volunteers, you ask? It’s volunteers who are now working to monitor coral reefs in their area, watching carefully for bleaching among their local reefs. This story out of Hawaii discusses a volunteer event aimed at training people to monitor coral reefs and report to the Eyes of The Reef Network. Here’s another story and one more about the event, which is being called Bleachapalooza. Very similar events will likely be needed around the world as coral bleaching continues and worsens.

If you have enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links.

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Volunteer Rangers

P1010138(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

In some of this country’s enormous wilderness areas, it’s volunteers who often keep an eye on things. Monitoring activities by visitors while acting as the eyes and ears of the larger organizations and agencies who own/manage the land, volunteers are an invaluable resource.  This great story out of Colorado details how a group of dedicated and passionate volunteers have been doing this kind of work for ten years now. Since 1994, Friends of the Eagles Nest Wilderness have been assisting the U.S. Forest Service through its volunteer ranger program. The volunteer rangers spend time during the summer months hiking into the wilderness. Among other things, they “count people, track group sizes, note weather, collect trash and focus on education instead of law-breaking,” according to the article. The volunteer rangers log thousands of hours spent in the wilderness, doing whatever they can to help protect and preserve this pristine area.

If you have enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links.

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Great Ways to Get Involved and Volunteer

Sunset on Lake Michigan(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

I thought I’d start this week off with something a little different. Although every story on this blog includes ideas for how you can get involved in your own area, I don’t often post stories that specifically offer advice for getting involved. This is a great list that I found this morning, with some fantastic ways that anyone can work for the planet, no matter where they live. While you’re there, check out some of the other great stories on One Green Planet.

If you’ve enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links:

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Volunteers Keeping Wales Beautiful

Through the Trees(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Short on time this morning but came across this story from Wales and wanted to share it. In the town of Barry, volunteers are working to rebuild and restore an urban garden near a church. Their work will help to keep a patch of green space alive and well in this highly developed seaport. What’s also notable about this story is that the garden project is being funded by a grant from Keep Wales Tidy, a grant which is funded through a partnership with Tesco, a British retail giant (it’s akin to Target in the U.S., judging from their website). These kinds of environmental organization/business partnerships are essential and invaluable as we continue to work towards preserving and protecting our planet. And it’s often volunteers who are the “boots on the ground,” benefiting from the partnerships and the resources they can provide.

If you have enjoyed the stories on this site, download m eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links:

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