Tag Archives: San Diego

Volunteers See the Forest for the Trees

IMG_1108Photo by Robert Barossi

by Robert Barossi

A little searching this morning revealed a number of forest-related volunteer stories. Tree planting and forest protection are among the most common, and most important, environmental volunteer tasks. And its happening everywhere.

In Washington, numerous volunteers, including Friends of North Creek Forest and students from University of Washington, have gathered to restore the North Creek Forest.

In Encinitas, near San Diego, community volunteers planted a “Food Forest” of fauna which will provide food for the surrounding community.

On the other side of the country, in Lafayette, Louisiana, volunteers are planting a similar forest of fruit trees at Acadiana Park Nature Station.

Finally, back in the other direction, even farther away, volunteers are planting trees in Hawaii to rebuild a forest area destroyed by fire.

For many more stories of environmental volunteers, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day

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Volunteers and the Search for Water

P1000656(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

A number of stories I’ve posted here have dealt with the severe, historic drought in California. As the state approaches the fourth consecutive summer of drought, water conservation is becoming more difficult and volunteers continue to be a major part of those conservation efforts. For environmental organizations dealing with dwindling water supplies, it’s sometimes volunteers who are heading the relief efforts. In this story out of San Diego, a volunteer is doing just that, playing a major role in finding potential new sources for water. Jim Hughes is a volunteer with Friends of Balboa Park, an organization dedicated to maintaining and preserving that iconic San Diego landmark. In the middle of the park is Casa De Balboa and its that  building which Hughes believes can become a new source of water. Jim’s story highlights some interesting and potentially important ways for water to be collected from the building, so that it might be used to irrigate the surrounding park or gardens. This is also a story that points out how important and beneficial it is for volunteers from one organization to work with other groups, in this case the San Diego Women’s Foundation and students from San Diego State University

 

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

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Volunteers Under the Mistletoe

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(photo by digidreamgrafix, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

by Robert Barossi

The holiday season is without doubt one of my favorite times of year. Whether it’s holiday songs playing on my car’s stereo while navigating snowy streets or houses covered in Christmas lights that fill my neighborhood, I’m a sucker for pretty much anything related to the holiday season. Kissing under the mistletoe is, of course, just one long-standing tradition of the season and this story from San Diego focuses on that famous plant and the legend and lore that surrounds it. It’s also got one of the best titles I’ve seen for a volunteer-related story, “Mistletoe: A Parasite of Peace.” While the article offers lots of information to explain that attention-catching title, it also focuses on a group of volunteers, the Canyoneers. This group of dedicated and passionate volunteers work with the San Diego Natural History Museum and lead area hikes and, every year, sell mistletoe to raise money for their nature programs. Gathering and selling the plant is a holiday season tradition for these volunteers, one that helps them fund some of the great work they do all year round.

More information here on San Diego’s Natural History Museum

Just for fun, a couple of resources I found about the lore and legend of mistletoe, form The Farmer’s Almanac, Smithsonian Magazine and The History Channel

Volunteers Learning and Teaching About Bats

Bat3(Photo by Craig Hauger, Courtesy of freeimages.com)

by Robert Barossi

Halloween is just a week away so why not a couple of stories involving bats. These often misunderstood creatures are incredibly important and play a major role in their ecosystem. They’re also threatened and/or endangered in many places around the world. On the other hand, in this story out of India, an unexpected species of bat was discovered in the Western Ghats, described as “one of the world’s eight richest biodiversity hotspots.” Volunteers play a role in the program that discovered the bat species, the Eastern Barbastelle, which had previously only been found in temperate climate zones. The project, which included trapping bats and recording their calls, will provide invaluable data about a number of bat species. According to this story out of San Diego, next week, leading up to Halloween, is also National Bat Week. For the occasion, the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center held a “Bat Chat,” led in part by  their volunteers. One of the volunteers, Cindy Myers, educated the more than 100 children who participated about many important bat-facts. The knowledge she passed on will hopefully provide an appreciation for these important creatures which the kids will pass on to others and keep with them for the rest of their lives.

Ocean Friendly Gardens

P1000689(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Recently, I posted an environmental volunteer story about gardens and how volunteers help to maintain these green spaces in public areas, especially suburbs, cities and urban centers. Volunteers are also involved in another kind of garden activity. This story out of San Diego details how volunteers are helping residents create ocean friendly gardens. These gardens, which will be installed with the help of professionals and volunteers, will help to keep urban runoff free of pollution, or at least help to significantly lower the pollution that runoff brings to the ocean.

The organization leading the effort is The Surfrider Foundation, check them out here.