As we wake to dark mornings and endure the shorter days, we are reminded that winter is here and holidays are just around the corner. This time of year, for many, is a time of gathering. We are reminded of the passage of time, and just how fleeting yet oh, so precious it is. We are prompted to reflect and select what passions we spend it on, as time is one thing in this world that is absolutely irreplaceable. This is why our hearts are warmed with gratitude to have so many people eager to donate their time giving back to their community through Riverway Volunteers, a partnership between Wild Rivers Conservancy and St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.
Volunteering brings together people of various backgrounds, stages of life, skills, and abilities. The sense of community that people feel when coming together to work toward a common goal is unmatched. Volunteerism opens the door to new friendships, facilitates new connections, helps people find joy and surround themselves with like-minded individuals who build one another up as they work together to strengthen their communities and environment.
Those who have joined our community with a passion for protection have worked on projects such as native prairie seed collection, invasive species removal, native tree planting, water quality monitoring, river cleanups, and so much more. With over 2,500 hours donated to natural resource projects alone this year, our volunteers are making an enormous impact on the ecological diversity that makes this resource right here in our backyard so exceptional.
Volunteers who donate their time not only have an impact on the physical landscapes of the watershed, but also make an important difference for the people who share this land, and who will grow up to be the next generation of caretakers. Just this fall, field trip programming from Wild Rivers Conservancy and St. Croix National Scenic Riverway reached 1,929 young students from across two states in 19 schools. Volunteers are a critical asset to these programs, and work alongside Conservancy educators and National Park Rangers to help guide these young stewards in their exploration and discoveries surrounding the Riverway.
If you would like to give the invaluable gift of time to make a difference in your watershed, or are looking for an uplifting way to spend your days, you can start by visiting wildriversconservancy.org/get-involved/volunteer. Our program has roles available for all skill levels. If you are unsure if your skills are the right fit for our program, get in touch - the volunteer team will connect you with opportunities that match your interests, skills and abilities so that everyone can enjoy the warm feelings of community.
For questions on our volunteer program, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-483-3300.
Photo Credit: Craig Blacklock