Tag Archives: New Jersey

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 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.

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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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:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

BeingFinal

Young Environmental Volunteers are Honored

Up a Tree

(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

The end of the year is a time for looking back at all the work that’s been done over the previous 365 days. It’s a time for assessing all of the achievements and successes that have taken place. And a time for recognizing some of the people who have been especially dedicated and determined in their efforts over the past year, who have consistently done impressive or inspiring work. This story out of New Jersey, about a group of environmental volunteers who were recognized, does all of that but it also does something else important at this time of year. It points to the future. These volunteers happen to be middle school students from the Williamstown Middle School Environmental Club, young men and women who are the future of our planet. They are the ones who will inherit it from us and will be charged with protecting and preserving it and every species on it. Looking ahead, we can and must hope that they continue to be passionate about the environment as they become adults and continue the kind of inspiring work they’ve done over the past year.

Well Deserved Recognition for Volunteers

Through the Trees(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Not sure what it is about this time of year, but stories of environmental volunteer recognition are everywhere. It’s great to see so many volunteers being awarded and honored, in so many different places for many different kinds of volunteer work. They don’t typically do it for the recognition, which is part of what makes volunteers inspiring, but they absolutely deserve it. So, here are just a few of the ones I’ve come across today:

This story out of Indiana County, just outside of Pittsburgh, features two environmental volunteers who also happen to be senior citizens. Many volunteers are seniors and retirees, and these two have demonstrated an amazing dedication and passion over a number of years of service.

I had never heard of Disney Conservation Heroes until reading this story. The Disney Conservation Hero Award is given to volunteers for their “tireless efforts to save wildlife, protect habitats, and educate communities,” according to this story out of New Jersey. This article focuses on three of the nineteen people who won the award, a trio of volunteers who work with The Wetlands Institute.

In the city of Bristol, in England, a number of people were recognized through the Green Volunteer Awards. Awards included the Green Voluntary Leader of the Year and an award given to Young Green Volunteers.

Finally, in Maui, five volunteers were awarded for their efforts to preserve the environmental health of Maui County. The inspiring citizens have been actively involved in a number of ways, from picking up trash and litter to educating the public about better anti-litter behavior.

After the Storm, Volunteers Lead the Way

Creek of Fallen Leaves(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

It was exactly two years ago that Hurricane Sandy (or Superstorm Sandy) slammed into the east coast of the U.S. The storm brought destruction down on a number of areas, including New Jersey and the city of New York. Since the storm’s arrival on our shores, it has been volunteers who have often led the way as communities recovered and rebuilt. This story out of New Jersey describes how volunteers continue, two years later, to do just that. Some organizations in the area, like this one, are hosting service events to mark the anniversary of the devastating storm.  As this article details, it’s often volunteers who pick up the slack and do the work when government agencies are unable or unwilling to accomplish what needs to get done. As storms like Sandy become more frequent, and they likely will do just that, it’s going to be more and more important for community members and volunteers to come together and help each other get through a community crisis.

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.