Be a Force of Nature®
Natural Lands calls for applications to join their volunteer program.
MEDIA, Pa., November 9, 2018 – Erin and Randy Richard were just looking for a nice place to walk their dogs when they visited ChesLen Preserve. “We were so impressed with the place that we decided then and there to visit more Natural Land’s properties,” said Randy. Fast-forward two years, and the couple has visited more than eighteen of Natural Land’s nature preserves and graduated from the organization’s Force of Nature® volunteer training program.
“For me, volunteering has been a personal growth opportunity,” said Randy. “I’ve always loved nature and wildlife and felt that there was more I needed to do.”
Erin shared that she gets back as much as she gives. “That part of Natural Land’s mission about ‘connecting people to the outdoors and each other’ really speaks to me. I have met many friendly and knowledgeable people, both volunteers and staff, who have made my experience truly rewarding.”
Natural Lands is inviting the public to join Randy and Erin and apply for the eighth annual Force of Nature volunteer program. The class of 2019 will participate in a comprehensive, hands-on training and service experience learning about natural resource management from Natural Lands’ nationally-recognized land stewardship experts. With nature preserves located throughout suburban Philadelphia, the Poconos, and the New Jersey bayshore, Force of Nature graduates can choose from a wide variety of activities based on their interests and location.
“More than 60 years ago, a group of volunteers who were passionate about our region’s wild places founded Natural Lands,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands. “To honor their legacy, we established the Force of Nature volunteer program and, with nearly 200 volunteers, the program is playing a vital role in continuing our founders’ work.”
Force of Nature training includes; tree planting, native plant gardening, habitat restoration, invasive plant identification and removal, wildlife management, event support, and outreach. This education will help volunteers gain valuable skills they’ll put to use at Natural Lands and as stewards of the natural world in their communities. After graduation, volunteers pledge at least 20 hours of service.
John Barbis joined Natural Lands’ Force of Nature in 2016 and volunteers as a Bluebird nest box monitor. “Watching the progress as the birds build their nests is just as exciting as seeing the first eggs of different colors or the first tiny, naked baby birds,” said John. “Until I started volunteering, I never knew how exquisitely beautiful and comfortable-looking Chickadee, Bluebird, or Tree Swallow nests were!”
In addition to training, volunteers receive access to exclusive Explore More! continuing education opportunities; a Natural Lands membership; a Force of Nature t-shirt, nametag, and hat; and recognition at the annual volunteer celebration. Force of Nature Class of 2019 applications are due November 30, 2018 and are available online.
Program information, a complete training schedule, and applications are available at https://natlands.org/support/volunteer/be-a-force-of-nature/or by calling Debbie Beer, Director of Volunteer Engagement, at 610-353-5587 ext. 266.
Mae Axelrod, Media Relations Manager
610-353-5587 ext. 400