Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy volunteers are a very active bunch. You’ll find us in the field monitoring, at annual events and fairs getting the word out on local conservation issues, along creeks and stream edges restoring or putting in riparian buffers, or even at schools empowering students to lead the way in protecting wildlife. So who are these volunteers? Who are these dedicated citizens that want to make their world a better place, and why do they do it? Volunteer Connection will be a monthly piece profiling a different Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy volunteer each month so we can get to know the names and faces of our neighbors who have committed themselves to environmental stewardship.
This month, we are featuring Rick Hardin. An outdoorsman at heart, Rick had a keen interest in conservation as he and his wife, Danné Hardin, have always enjoyed the natural world and all of the exciting beauty it offers. From hiking and cycling in various parks to learning about how individual species of wildlife interact with their natural environments, Rick has always had the environment in the back of his mind. It was likely this interest that informed his decision to choose geography and geo-environmental studies in his formal education. He later went on to work with the Water Resource Division of the US Geological Survey in Pennsylvania, which focused on several surface water projects, including stream monitoring efforts, turning his attention to surface water issues in particular. Currently, Rick works with the US Department of Agriculture as a Geographer, where he provides information on the farming industry, and studies the how the farming industry varies throughout the country as well as the challenges that exist between farmers and the environment.
His past volunteer work has included The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, but what brought him to us here at Loudoun Wildlife was seeing our local legacy. Researching the cache of information handy on our website and valuing our pro-active attitude reflective in our regular projects (including stream monitoring!), Rick and Danné thought Loudoun Wildlife would be a good fit. Rick has already completed some useful statistical work with our Bird Atlas Project!
After business hours, and between wooded adventures, you may find Rick and Danné, self-proclaimed sports junkies, in the stands at a baseball, hockey or football game cheering for our local teams. Still, wherever you see them, make sure to stop and introduce yourself because they are now part of our incredible Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy family!
If you are looking for ways to get involved like Rick and Danné, check out our volunteer page here.