Almost half of the world’s forests have been cleared or degraded. When most people think of forest restoration, they think of replanting lost trees, but restoration is about improving landscapes that are deforested, degraded or underutilized.
I volunteer with Saddler’s Woods Conservation Association in Haddon Township, New Jersey. The association’s mission is to preserve and protect Saddler’s Woods – a 25-acre urban forest unique for its diverse ecological features that include old growth forest, young woodlands, meadow and wetlands. Through stewardship, restoration, education, research and land acquisition, we help make sure that the woods can continue to be a sanctuary for the thousands of visitors it receives each year.
My volunteer efforts consist of cleaning up the woods every fall and spring. I have come to learn that the meaning of “clean up” is varied. It can mean going to a particular section of the woods to pull invasive plants that are bad for the area, or walking the perimeter to pick up trash. It can also mean laying down mulch and inserting plants that are good for the environment. All of these types of clean up are necessary, and it is so rewarding to see that when we go back year after year, the areas where we worked are as pristine as when we left them.
I love to volunteer because the value of volunteering is deep, fulfilling and contributes to a healthy and vibrant community, which is priceless. I’m very proud of the work that I’m doing to make sure the woods can continue to be enjoyed by locals and I hope that my efforts inspire others to volunteer and give back to their respective communities – like they have my family, who now join me in cleaning up the woods!
Volunteering is a passion of mine and the Power of One’s charge to highlight the amazing volunteer work within our organization is remarkable. It is a testament to how much PSEG cares about both its employees and its communities.