How (and when) did you start volunteering for TLC?
I read a newspaper article about an Oak Rescue being held at Yonder Prairie in Woodstock with The Land Conservancy of McHenry County. This was in January 2015.
Why do you volunteer?
I volunteer because I love being outdoors, and what better way than to help clear out invasive species in our precious woodlands? What is accomplished each and every restoration workday is amazing. The sunshine and air that replace these invasive species lets hidden wildflowers emerge, sedges to return and acorns to grow. I’m able to witness this miracle which inspires me. I also value the friendships I have made over the years. The volunteers have incredible work ethic, humor, and a love for improving the landscape around us. Volunteering does make a difference!
What is your favorite TLC site (or the one you visit the most)?
That is a hard choice. I volunteer twice a month at Yonder Prairie which is an Illinois Nature Preserve with a wet prairie, sedge meadow and oak savanna complex. What I found most interesting about this site was seeing an area of land that has never been plowed or grazed upon. Thus there are rare species of birds, plants and wildflowers within in the site. I also enjoy one of our newest sites, Irish Oaks; and The Community Research Forest with its dense forest and stream. Actually, I find each TLC site has its own uniqueness.
Carol, front row left, with a volunteer crew at Yonder Prairie.
What else do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my family and teaching my granddaughters about caring for wildlife and the environment around them. I love to bicycle the back roads and trails in McHenry and Boone County, cross country ski, snow shoe and hike.
Anything else you'd like to add?
There are endless opportunities with The Land Conservancy such as helping in the office with mailings, volunteering at the Annual Celebration Brunch, Art of the Land (the fall fundraising event), or the Spring & Fall Sustainability Sales. You may choose to become an Oak Keeper or lean about seed collecting at the Seed Sharing Day. There are numerous Workshops: Learn to Burn; Chainsaw Training; Tree Identification. There is something for everyone at The Land Conservancy of McHenry County.