Volunteerism in Action
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When I started working in the conservation field in 2012 I didn’t know anything about it and it freaked me out to see snakes and spiders. I started my journey in Florida and learned a great deal and became super passionate about volunteerism and public lands. From my previous position I came to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy ready to tackle youth and diversity initiatives. These trail maintaining clubs have been and are awesome stewards to the land for almost 90 years and have been the caretakers of our public lands. Without them there wouldn’t be a visible footpath or journey for countless thru hikers, section hikers, & day hikers.
I enjoy when I get to get out into the field and join in on the volunteer action of digging into the earth. Views on the trail will take your mind away from your cell phone and life in the busy locations we live. I have been fortunate it is my current job to help build new partnerships to get more youth and diverse audiences out not only on the trail but aware of the trail and the 31 trail maintaining clubs. In my position I help build new partnerships to connect with local clubs through outreach in my region.
I have worked with a action group in Asheville called “Everybody’s Environment Action Group” which is working to bring more diverse audiences to the green movement. This movement is hasn’t seen a lot of diversity and we are working to bring in more audiences. Through a spring festival, diversity trainings, and social media we are moving forward. These efforts don’t stop here, I was recently certified as a Leave No Trace Trainer and have been able to teach kids to adults about ethics when in front country or backcountry of nature. .
I believe through education and outreach we can reach a greater audience that needs to get outside. Our public lands are open to all and they belong to us and it is important to engage the next generation of stewards so our land doesn’t turn it one giant computer! Through volunteerism you can reach new heights and help conserve the American Dream!!