ERM volunteers find the strangest things during cleanup events. During the first three months of 2010, volunteers removed more than 4,800 pounds of trash from county-managed natural areas. Much of the trash was composed of glass bottles, aluminum cans, and plastic containers. However, volunteers always come across some item that makes them scratch their heads and wonder how it made it into the wilderness. Volunteers uncovered a car axle, Christmas lights, a Hoover vacuum cleaner and carpeting at a February cleanup event in Juno Beach. Even stranger things were found at two March cleanup events in Boynton Beach - a large A/C unit, a wooden crutch, a paint roller, and a shower curtain.
Are you ready to lend a hand? Here's how you can become an ERM volunteer
NATURAL AREA STEWARDS
- This program requires no training or long-term commitment; only short-term projects for busy individuals who want to make a difference in their community.
- Volunteers participate in "hands-on" environmental projects such as native plantings, site cleanups, exotic plant removal, dune restoration, and nursery maintenance.
- Projects typically last three hours and are scheduled on a monthly basis.
- Groups can also take advantage of this program. A special work project can be designed for their members at a date, time, and location of their choosing.
- To see when the next volunteer event is, click here.
GET IN THE KNOW
- This program requires dedicated volunteers who can work several hours each week for at least one year.
- Natural area stewards assist ERM staff in managing local natural areas.
- Responsibilities include conducting inspections, maintaining trails, reporting damage, recording animal and plant observations, and assisting with volunteer work projects.
- Stewards receive a handbook and a t-shirt. Training opportunities are available throughout the year.
- Click here to download a steward application.
- Do you want to know when the next natural area is opened, how the sea turtle nesting numbers are stacking up, or what invasive exotic plant is causing problems for land managers?
- You can find the answers to these questions in the ERM's quarterly Environmental Times newsletter.
- Each issue contains articles on programs such as shoreline enhancement, water resources protection, and habitat restoration.
- Click here to read the latest edition of the Environmental Times.
For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact Ann Mathews, Volunteer Coordinator, at (561) 233-2400 or email Ann at email@example.com.