Volunteer Monitoring 101 Lesson Seven: Make Time

Hello Folks!

This lesson is still in process as I find myself into the second month of the New Year and several months behind on my learning and sharing with you.   My derrière, while thankfully tick-less, appears to me to be turning slightly square in shape, reflective of all of the time it has been sitting in my office chair.

Chock full messy desk.

Piles of piled things demanding my attention, the only visible nature is on my mouse pad.

This has GOT to change!

During and after the holidays I found myself swept along (by powers known and unknown) into the mire of last-minute-add-on-but-must-do-it-NOW type tasks.  One of the things on this list was my final property visit and reports for 2012; and I wasn’t alone.  Here in the UVLT office both Jason and Pete were working extra hard to ensure each one of our 444 protected properties had received its annual visit.  What I didn’t realize was the work did not stop there!

For each property, one report is written but that report is duplicated at least three times, sometimes more.  For any given property UVLT keeps a copy in our Archive File, protected in super high-tech theft/fire/flood/Godzilla (patent pending) proof filing cabinets; we make a copy for the Monitoring Folder for reference at next year’s visit; and we also scan a copy into our digital Archive Files.  There is also the copy which we send to the landowner which can be digital, print, or both!  In addition, someone writes a cover letter to the landowner highlighting certain aspects of the year’s visit and continuing the open channels of communication that are so important.  Lastly, if there were any partners who helped conserve a particular property they each also could require additional writing & documentation, – phew!!

Don’t get me wrong, we are lucky to have a uniquely enthusiastic and responsible set of volunteers who are helping this happen each and every day – no joke!  We will never be able to say ‘thank you’ long, loud, or big enough to cover all that they – you! – do for UVLT; but we’ll keep trying!

I'd rather be here...

I’d rather be here…

I am sharing this with you because I learned an important lesson about my priorities.  I was reminded that I didn’t only need to make time to do my visits out of responsibility or for my belief in and support of conservation; I needed to do it for ME because, heck, I LIKE going outside and tromping around!  It is always fun and it turns my eyes upward and outward – nurturing my sense of wonder and grounding my love for this place, my home, even deeper in myself.

Upon hearing of my reflection Jason reminded me of a John Ruskin quote, ‘The highest reward for a person’s work is not what they get for it, but what they become because of it.’

What is your reason to ‘do it for me’?   Comment below or send me an email!

Anna Slack
Programs Coordinator, Volunteer Monitor

Interested in becoming a volunteer monitor?  Contact us!  Or register for our upcoming Volunteer Monitoring Training May 11, 2013 by clicking here.

Read my previous Lessons here.