During the last couple of months, I attended multiple volunteer events and got the chance to ask the volunteers why they are participating in these events. Their responses were so inspiring. Some examples were:
“Climate change is getting really scary, so I decided I need to put my time where my mouth is and help mother earth.”
“I make it a point to volunteer whenever I can.”
“I want to help the wildlife.”
“I like being outside and doing meaningful work.”
“Every month I try to participate in one volunteer event.”
Each response is unique but serves a great meaning; they want to contribute to something much greater than themselves. In this blog post I will shine a light on one event, the McDougal Meadow project. The Forest Service partnered with Grand Canyon Trust to restore a meadow that that has been negatively impacted by roads and overgrazing. The volunteers installed rock dams and rundowns to slow the flow of water and increase sedimentation. The volunteers camped for four nights and endured rain and lighting. However, they still managed to carry over 20 tons of rock and built 24 dams. The conditions were not great, but you couldn't tell. Throughout the entire project they all had a smile on their face. I want to remind everyone that these volunteers are not getting payed and they can leave at any time. Thankfully, they happily stayed and completed the project. A mentor of mine has a quote attached to her email, it reads, “There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer” – Jimmy (James) H. Doolittle. I couldn’t agree more with that statement.
I’m looking forward to help and host more volunteer events. They truly are so inspiring and forces me to reevaluate where I am putting my time and energy in.
Agency: U.S Forest Service
Program: Resource Assistant Program (RAP)
Location: Kaibab National Forest