The Nature Conservancy Thanks Virginia Volunteers for 6,100 Hours Spent Restoring Natural Places Across the Commonwealth in 2011

Volunteers helped maintain trails, plant trees, monitor freshwater mussels, and restore seagrass meadows and oyster reefs in the Chesapeake Bay and the near-shore ocean.

Charlottesville, VA | February 06, 2012

Today, The Nature Conservancy pauses to thank the 562 volunteers who contributed 6,143 recorded hours and likely many more helping to protect and restore the important natural lands and waters that make Virginia a special place to live. Their contributions of time to on-the-ground conservation projects and office work help the Conservancy maximize conservation benefits to nature and Virginians.

“Our volunteers continue to be an important part of our conservation success in Virginia,” said Michael Lipford, Virginia executive director of The Nature Conservancy. “The commonwealth’s unique landscapes and wildlife are critical to our quality of life, and it’s important for future generations to have the same opportunity we had to explore and love our beautiful state. I want to thank our volunteers for their commitment and efforts to help protect the lands and waters of Virginia.”

Select highlights and accomplishments of our volunteers in 2011:

  • Nearly a quarter of the volunteer hours (1,114) were spent at public-access preserves, involving routine surveys, removing debris, and maintaining trails to improve recreational opportunities and protect wildlife.
  • More than 10 percent of volunteer hours (542.5) were spent near the Virginia Coast Reserve to restore seagrass meadows and oyster reefs that support other marine life.
  • Sixty percent of our volunteers served more than once in 2011; 28 volunteers spent over 50 hours helping the Conservancy execute our conservation work.

While oyster and seagrass restoration at the Virginia Coast Reserve continue to provide our largest volunteer offerings, preserves and natural areas such as Piney Grove, Clinch Valley, Allegheny Highlands and Wildcat Mountain offer additional opportunities to work in mountain, valley, forest and river settings.

“I’m inspired by the tireless efforts of our volunteers across the state – some traveling great distances to join us in restoring and protecting important lands and waters in Virginia,” said Jennifer Dalke, volunteer coordinator for The Nature Conservancy in Virginia and West Virginia. “Thank you to all who helped in 2011, and I look forward to working with you again in 2012.”

Learn more about the Conservancy’s volunteer opportunities at and become a fan of our Facebook page. We encourage volunteers to share their experiences, photos and ideas about what protecting and restoring Virginia’s natural areas mean to you.

warm springs mountain volunteers_490x250

Photo: Volunteer recognition at Warm Springs Mountain Preserve © Jen Dalke/TNC

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

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