Volunteer Heroes: Bob Snyder Q&A

For many, the calling to conservation has been sparked by a sense of the joy and wonder about the world that was ignited in their childhood. For others, the calling is about leaving a better world for the next generation.

Whatever the motivation, our world needs stories like these more than ever.

The profiles and Q&As in this section represent The Nature Conservancy volunteers who make our work possible in Pennsylvania. We hope you’ll be inspired by these stories.

“The opportunity to volunteer with The Nature Conservancy allows me to enjoy nature and to associate with people with similar interests while doing something positive for the environment.”

— Bob Snyder


What sparked your interest in conservation?

Bob Snyder:

I've been interested in nature for as long as I can remember. This translated into a Bachelor's degree in biology, a Master's degree in entomology, and a lifetime of backpacking and camping. I became aware of how precious the multitude of plants and animals were, and how the loss of even a few could affect the balance of nature.


What are some of the conservation issues that worry you?

Bob Snyder:

I'm concerned with the conservation issues most outdoor enthusiasts are. These include, of course, global warming, water and land usage, and species extinction. What I find alarming is that the core cause of these issues, and most other environmental concerns, is human overpopulation. I'm hopeful that more environmental groups will keep this issue in the forefront.


What are your favorite Nature Conservancy sites?

Bob Snyder:

Since I've spent most of my volunteer time at Long Pond, this area would have to be my favorite local site. I also recently was able to camp in the Adirondack Mountains and loved the experience.


There are so many organizations in need of volunteers; why did you choose The Nature Conservancy?

Bob Snyder:

The opportunity to volunteer with The Nature Conservancy allows me to enjoy nature and to associate with people with similar interests while doing something positive for the environment. I have been a member of The Nature Conservancy for many years, and found, when I moved to the Pocono area, that The Nature Conservancy’s Hauser Nature Center was nearby and in need of volunteers.


What is the most memorable project that you have been involved with as a volunteer for The Nature Conservancy? How has it shaped your image about conservation?

Bob Snyder:

I've mainly been involved with controlled burns. This includes getting areas ready for burns by marking boundaries and building fire breaks. I've been able to compare areas pre- and post-burn and have been surprised at the rapidity of repopulation of native plants and animals. These fires, in years past, were part of a natural cycle. The Nature Conservancy now has a hand in restarting (very carefully) this cycle.

Thank you to volunteer Mark Marotta, for interviewing our Pennsylvania volunteers about their service to the chapter. Mark is a freelance writer and volunteer for The Nature Conservancy residing in Montgomery County. Views shared here by volunteers may not be the views of The Nature Conservancy.


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