Tag Archives: Illinois

Volunteers Rebuild and Protect Important Habitats

IMG_0847_1Photo by Robert Barossi

by Robert Barossi

Two great stories with a common theme this morning. Wherever they work, environmental volunteers are often working hard to protect, preserve, even rebuild the habitats where wildlife species live.

First, a story out of the Illinois Times focused on a fantastic organization doing some fantastic work. As the article title indicates, the group, which owns 300 acres of land and manages another 2,000, prides itself in being “Nature’s Friends.” The group states as their mission the saving of area habitats, protecting and preserving the environment while also keeping the areas available and open to hunters, anglers and foragers. Doing so is accomplished by a group of dedicated  volunteers and the group’s inspiring leader, Vern LaGesse. Among other insights, he notes, “I spent my lifetime being part of these places and trying to understand their secret knowledge. I am learning so much every year. That’s what keeps me going.” Check out more about LaGesse and his group, Friends of Sangamon Valley, at their Facebook page.

Farther west, in Washington, volunteers are working hard to recreate a habitat for birds. Four years ago, bird boxes were removed from the Port Susan Nature Preserve, as part of a larger project by the Nature Conservancy. Now, the organization’s volunteers are replacing the bird boxes and hollow gourds, placing them high on wood pilings around the area. The estuary where the bird boxes are located is also getting some help from the volunteers by way of trash cleanup and  invasive species removal. They are hopeful that all of this work will bring songbirds who used to occupy the estuary back to the region.

Download my eBook for many more great environmental volunteer stories – 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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Volunteers Successfully Work to Stop a Coal Mine

Rocks in Still Water(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Right now, there are environmental volunteers working to stop the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline from snaking across our country, form Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico. Here in New England, there was a similar effort to stop a natural gas terminal from being built on the shore of Narragansett Bay. That effort’s victory came in part from all the tireless work of many volunteers, especially those who worked with Save the Bay, an environmental organization based in Rhode Island. These kinds of volunteer efforts happen all the time, around the world. This story out of Illinois describes another victory, this time for area residents who formed a group called Canton Area Citizens for Environmental Issues. These dedicated and passionate volunteers worked for eight years to stop a coal mine from being built in their region. It’s an exciting success story that demonstrates how an organized group of citizens can make their voices heard and have a real impact on what goes on in their backyard. And how they can protect the natural environment from destructive forces brought by industries such as coal mining.

If you’ve enjoyed any of the stories on this blog, check out m y book, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day.

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