This article was featured in the 2023 Spring Newsletter by Lucas Russel-SLELO PRISM Volunteer.
Overcoming winter’s dreariness was made possible by getting outdoors with SLELO PRISM. While helping out hemlock trees, volunteering provided an outlet for teamwork, nature therapy, cold weather exercise and incentive to plan more adventures, local and afar.
My volunteer experience started off with attending a training to become a member of SLELO PRISM’s invasive species Volunteer Surveillance Network (VSN). I learned to recognize and survey for hemlock woolly adelgid and other priority species, and how to report observations to NYiMapInvasive.org.
Moving forward, I have ambitions to participate in invasive species identification walks and events with SLELO PRISM and the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Volunteers of Oneida County-of which I’m also an active member.
If you’re not already involved, consider volunteering with SLELO or your county’s PRISM. You will be rewarded with a heightened sense of belonging by contributing to community science and reconnecting with nature—helping to preserve the lands and waters you cherish most now and for generations to come.