How long have you volunteered with Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and how did you hear about us?
Susan is a new Loudoun County resident, having relocated from Arlington in October 2020. A childhood friend and LWC member, Patricia, introduced her to LWC via a walk/tour of the JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary which she had “won” at an LWC fundraising auction. At that event, she met Michael Myers (Executive Director), Gerco Hoogeweg (Co-chair, JK Black Oak Committee), and Julie Borneman (Board President). Susan says, “Being exposed to these people, experiencing their enthusiasm, and learning about the Black Oak project piqued my interest in LWC. I knew right away I would be a supporter/member and would be looking for opportunities to donate my time and energy.”
What opportunities have you volunteered for/are signed up for?
Susan’s first volunteer job was to respond to Michael Myers’ call for people to assist with the Loudoun County Linear Parks and Trail project. There was a need for help in mapping trails. Being new to the County, Susan thought it would be an interesting way to learn about the area and the trails in her community while helping with a good cause.
The next opportunity to volunteer presented itself when Susan saw that bluebird box nest monitors were needed at a park down the road from her. She hooked up with enthusiastic trail leader, Annaliese Meistrich, for training and has been rewarded with getting to see nests, eggs, and baby birds.
Susan is also a stream monitor. Her first experience with Dave Manning, Sarah Ali, and Amy Ulland (Stream Monitoring Program Coordinator) was at Tuscarora Creek. Susan exclaims, “It was such a fun, interesting, well-managed, and rewarding experience that I was happy to assist in two additional surveys. Amy is a terrific team coordinator, very knowledgeable regarding streams and a patient, good teacher.”
Susan also volunteered to help with the LWC Annual Meeting in June where she assisted with getting things set up and then stayed afterwards to help break everything down and unload it back into storage.
What is your favorite natural area in Loudoun County?
Being a new resident to the County, Susan says, “I have not yet identified a favorite local natural area. There is so much yet to be discovered and explored. Any place outdoors, surrounded by nature, is my favorite place to be.”