Clean Water, Strong Communities!
It takes a community of people to grow a community of trees. As another tree planting approaches, Blue Water Baltimore celebrates the strong communities that work hard to clean our waterways. Check out the following spotlights to learn about some of our most dedicated partners and volunteers.
Nancy has volunteered regularly with both our Restoration Team and Herring Run Nursery for years. She shows up to events ready to learn and excited to engage with staff and other volunteers. She plants and prunes trees, removes invasive vines, and helps with sales at the nursery. We appreciate Nancy’s solid presence as a volunteer over the years and look forward to working together for many seasons to come!
Learn more about what it’s like to volunteer & partner with Blue Water Baltimore through our Q & A with Nancy below.
1. What do you enjoy most about volunteering with Blue Water Baltimore?
Being able to work outside is probably my favorite aspect of volunteering with BWB. In addition, there is the gratification of looking at the results of the work done by BWB staff and volunteers on any given day and seeing what a difference our efforts have made. This might be removing invasive vines and suckers (unhealthy branch growth) from a tree so it can grow big and strong, or transplanting flats of baby plants into larger pots so they can mature and be sold at Herring Run Nursery.
2. Do you have a favorite memory of a BWB event?
A few years ago a group of BWB staff and volunteers were pruning trees next to Herring Run Nursery in Mt. Pleasant Golf Course. Just locating the trees was a challenge, as many of them had been pulled down by invasive porcelainberry vines. We managed to liberate several trees, cleared out the offending vines and set up deer fencing in hopes that the trees would have a chance of survival. The site looked really hopeful by the time we were finished.
3. What do you do when you’re not volunteering with us?
In my spare time, I grow vegetables in my home garden and maintain several planting beds with native shrubs and perennials around my house. I enjoy bird watching, bicycling, hiking and traveling.
4. What motivates you to keep coming back?
I keep volunteering because it’s fun. I enjoy spending time with the other volunteers, and I always learn something new.
When I retired four years ago, I wanted to volunteer with an organization where (a) I could work outside (b) I would have the chance to gain new skills and learn about our local flora & fauna, and (c) I could make a contribution (even a very small one) to making Baltimore a better place. BWB has been the ideal place for me to pursue these goals.
5. What is your favorite type of tree?
I can’t pick just one tree, so I’ll give you three. First, the Eastern redbud because the flower buds come directly out of the branches, which is pretty amazing. Second, the River birch because it moves so nicely with the slightest breeze and the nuthatches and woodpeckers benefit from the bugs that hang out in the shaggy bark. Third, the hawthorn because it has lovely white flowers in the spring, bird-friendly red berries in autumn, pretty bark and incredible thorns.
6. Anything else you’d like to share!
Thank you for offering opportunities to volunteer and learn, and to feel that my time has been spent doing something worthwhile.
If you’re considering getting involved in volunteering, the TreeKeepers city stewardship program (via TreeBaltimore) is a great way to start learning more about trees and ways to stay engaged.
This blog will be updated regularly with additional volunteer spotlights!