Tag Archives: Iowa City

Year’s End and Another Great Volunteer Story

IMG_0504(photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since I started this blog. In October of 2013, I published my first post, a bit of an introduction to the blog and what I hoped it would achieve. Since then, it has achieved everything that I hoped it would and more. My sincere appreciation and gratitude goes out to everyone who has visited this blog, read a post, favorited or commented on a post, or shared a post on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. My goal was to spread the word about environmental volunteers and we have all done that, everyone of us who has read this blog. If one single person has read a post on this blog and then gone out and volunteered in their own community, then this blog has done exactly what I intended. If this blog has inspired one person to volunteer for our planet and it’s  preservation or protection, then all this work has been worth it. Of course, the work isn’t done. I am going into 2015 just as dedicated to this blog and book about environmental volunteers as ever. The eBook publishing process is well on its way and hopefully Being Where You Are will soon be available to download and read. I invite you to also go back an read previous posts and check out all of the inspiring stories that have been included here. They are all pretty amazing and every volunteer involved deserves our thanks and appreciation.

I’m also going into 2015 with a renewed interest in posting fascinating and unique environmental volunteer stories on this blog. There will, of course, be more stories of river cleanups and trail maintenance and water quality monitoring, all of the tasks that volunteers perform every day, in numerous places. I will also endeavor to find more stories that may be a little outside of the box, in terms of volunteers impacting our natural environment. One example is this great story about the Iowa City Bike Library, and the volunteers who work there. I love the concept of a bike library, where people can rent or borrow bikes, eventually giving up their rental deposit and taking ownership of the bike if they want. It helps to encourage people to ride bikes, rather than driving cars, and it keeps old bikes out of landfills for a while longer. Both of those can and will be beneficial for the local natural environment. While these volunteers may not be doing down-and-dirty work, deep in the wilderness, their work is absolutely having a positive environmental impact.

Check out the Bike Library’s blog to read more about what they do and similar community bike programs in the area.

Volunteers and the People’s Climate March

ID-10010562(Photo by Danilo Rizzuti, Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

by Robert Barossi

This past Sunday, the 21st of September, marches were held all over the world to raise awareness for climate change. I had the pleasure and the honor to be in the massive crowd that assembled in New York City. Surrounded by over 300,000 people (some have claimed it may have been close to 400,000) it was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was also inspiring. Words can’t really do justice to the energy, the enthusiasm and the passion that filled those streets as the crowd slowly marched the two-mile route. There were also many volunteers who helped to make the event happen and make it a huge, resounding success. Volunteers get a mention in many of the stories that appeared before, during and after the march. This story describes some of the work and preparations which occurred leading up to the event, including the work of volunteers. A story from Indiana demonstrates another way volunteers were involved in the march, by getting buses filled with people to NYC for the event.  In Montreal, according to this story, volunteers organized a march that  coincided with the march in NYC and, while smaller, was no less  important. Volunteers also lent a hand during a similar march on Sunday in Iowa City. This final story offers a fantastic set of photos which document the day in NYC. It also mentions volunteers and a few of the important roles they played.