The word “volunteerism” inspires a different image for everyone. For me, volunteering is a form of voting. Just like you vote for a candidate with your ballot, and vote on products with your dollar, you vote on your values not only with your dollars, but also with your volunteerism. I like to volunteer or “vote” in ways that have a lasting impact. The Whatcom Land Trust offers an opportunity to do that. At the end of a work party, it’s easy to look out over the sea of blue tubes and envision a healthy forest sprouting from them. A simple act, followed by a little care, can create something wonderful that will outlive everyone that helped to put it there.
I also “vote” for these things because, while there is the benefit of a lasting impact, there is also the benefit of building community; like-minded people doing great things with each other. It forces a person to wake up and realize that by simply donating a little bit of their time and getting their hands dirty, they’re becoming part of a movement that creates tangible and lasting change.
In my limited time with the Whatcom Land Trust, it has been exciting to join the long tradition in Whatcom County of volunteers working to preserve and nurture our incredible natural environment. Hundreds of dedicated, passionate, informed people are coming together to “vote” for the preservation of wild places and the wildlife that occupies them. The lands and species of Whatcom County are threatened by a number of things, but the passion and intention of the Love This Land movement has given me confidence that the Land will come out on top.