April 16-22 is Volunteer Appreciation Week and the Land Trust would simply not function without the numerous talented and passionate volunteers we get the pleasure of working with!

From the bottom of our hearts, we sincerely thank each and every one of you for giving us some of your skills, time, advice, and/or elbow-grease to help us conserve and steward vital natural areas, support a vibrant local food system, and connect people with the natural world through inclusive education and recreation programs. You are critical in helping us protect our natural resources, cultivate care for the natural world, and in so doing, foster resilient, connected communities now and for generations to come.

Time is precious. We asked our volunteers why they choose to spend some of theirs with BTLT – here’s what they had to say:

  • “Nature, conservation, care of our soil, promoting the production, availability and marketing of locally produced food is part of my very being – and BTLT is involved with all of this and more.”
  • “I think it’s important to try to be a positive force in my community and BTLT does so much for the quality of life and wellbeing we all can enjoy if we work at it.”
  • “I feel good when I can help.”
  • “I like to get my hands dirty and I love sharing my knowledge with others. The sense of accomplishment for myself and others I volunteer with is the ultimate reward. Plus, I get to meet a lot of really great people.”
  • “Many hands make lighter work.”
  • “Volunteering is one way for me to feel that in some small measure I’m returning the pleasure of my BTLT walks and friendships in a useful way.”
  • “I believe in the mission and the good and important work, especially of the CREA programs. Bringing people into deep partnership with the wild, living Earth is essential to a continuing vibrant ecosphere for all partners.”
  • “Volunteering has provided me the opportunity to develop leadership skills and problem-solving creativity, and build confidence in my decision making. I highly recommend it!”
  • “I appreciate the opportunities that BTLT offers to the public. It provides local access to well managed trails and the beauty of the Maine environment. I volunteer to assist in perpetuating these goals.”
  • “I believe in the mission of connecting people of all ages with nature through education and experiences.”
  • “Volunteering helps build friendships while benefiting the organization and our work in the community.”
  • “I have an early childhood education background and really wanted to see more activities for toddler and preschool age children and their families. I was also committed to making the StoryWalk accessible to our New Mainers through translations of the stories into French and Portuguese.”
  • “I very much look forward to my volunteer hours – I feel very appreciated and I feel that I am spending my time on a cause I deeply believe in.”
  • “I have been volunteering for nearly 15 years now and enjoy working with the teachers and students to learn about wildlife on the Cathance River Nature Preserve, design scientific studies to answer hypotheses, and possibly help develop a passion for wildlife and our environment. It’s one of the greatest rewards of my job as a wildlife professional and look forward to it each year.”
  • “I believe young children should be exposed to nature as early as possible and learning about it needs to be developmentally appropriate and accessible.”
  • “I love BTLT’s many-pronged approach to conservation. They do the hard work of protecting land, but are always thinking just as much about what is good for the community (hunting? farming? public access?) and always recognizing that in the long term, community engagement is the only way to really protect land. Hence the farmer’s market, community garden, education programs, and recent merger with CREA. And on top of all that, the people who work there are kind, gracious, thoughtful and fun to be around!”
  • “I remember the positive impact that mentors had for me and developing my career. As a young, interested scientist, I was not exposed to the many ways a wildlife biologist could be employed. There are more opportunities beyond being a state or federal wildlife biologist or academia and still have a positive impact on our wildlife and environment. Now, as a wildlife professional at an environmental consulting firm, I think it’s important that I contribute to the younger generation through mentoring and education, to help students develop the skills to become passionate about wildlife and help them understand the many ways that one could make a career as a wildlife biologist. I believe that the BTLT, is an incredible program that provides access and opportunities for kids to get outdoors and to nurture and foster recognition of the importance of our environment and its inhabitants, including people.

Thanks to the volunteers who submitted responses.