Happy New Year, all! I absolutely love the first few weeks of January. It’s a time to be optimistic, motivated, and inspired to do great things in the coming months, and it’s easy to be inspired when you’re surrounded by incredible volunteers, as we are at Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. This month in Volunteer Connection, I have the privilege of featuring just such a volunteer, Ms. Dori Rhodes.
Dori is and has always been an avid birder with a heart for all things, flora or fauna. Many families have their own pastimes and traditions, and Doris’ was the love of nature. One particularly influential person was Dori’s grandmother, a keen gardener, who planted her garden just for the birds. With that, Dori went on to earn her degree in Zoology from Drew University with the hope of one day being able to share her passion. One of her first jobs was working at Turtle Back Zoo in New Jersey where she did programs for groups and schools.
About 10 years ago, she moved up to Leesburg from North Carolina, ready to get involved in her new community. She came upon Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, as well as the Virginia Master Naturalists. Only a few years later she served as president for our county’s Virginia Master Naturalist Banshee Reeks Chapter! Dori’s incredible efforts have brought experience and education to our community in so many ways through her various projects with Loudoun Wildlife. She has served as a bluebird monitor, a native plant community liaison, a birder during our Christmas Bird Count, a walk leader at Banshee Reeks on many occasions, and she is currently loving her work as an active ambassador through our Audubon@Home Program.
Like so many of our volunteers, Dori’s motivation comes from having the platform to share her passion through teaching. With such a plethora of programs offered by Loudoun Wildlife, she is always being challenged to learn something new or to share her experience with new friends along the way.
So if you’ve resolved to give back more in 2016, we have many projects that are looking for enthusiastic hands! Not sure where to start? We’ll be having a Volunteer Orientation & Opportunity Showcase on Sunday, January 31 at 1pm at the Carriage Museum in Morven Park. Click here to sign up or here to sign up for a volunteer opportunity now!