by Karen Arrington
“Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, not something you do in your spare time.”
Marian Wright Edelman
Edelman’s commitment and devotion to the causes she cares deeply about is reflected in her life’s work. This same level of commitment and devotion is something our volunteers share in common with her. Our volunteers give of their time and their talent, always answering our requests for help. Whether it’s pulling invasive species, planting natives, installing erosion control measures, contributing to the success of special events, being our eyes and ears on properties on which we hold conservation easements or helping the office move at full speed, our volunteers show up and help with projects that we couldn’t accomplish without their support.
As volunteer program manager, I enjoy meeting and getting to know our volunteers. I often tell them that my best days in the office are spent working alongside them on our properties. It’s true — they are the best part of my work. As April is National Volunteer Month, I want to take this opportunity to let our volunteers know how thankful I am for their willingness to jump in, engage in our work and support our mission. I am also incredibly grateful for the lasting relationships we forge through the work, sweat and laughter.
While all of our volunteers are exceptional, one volunteer in particular is getting a shout out for being a one man crew who tackles everything from complicated building projects to difficult stewardship workday tasks. And no matter how complex the project or physically demanding the work, he shows up.
Barry Weinzveg has been an active volunteer since April 2016 and, since that time, he has selflessly volunteered hundreds of hours of his time to help with jobs that require exceptional project management skills, as well as a strong back and willingness to deal with tough tasks in questionable conditions. His personal ethos takes the U.S. Postal Service motto to another level by including mud, poison oak, invasive blackberry and more.
Barry and Robin have been part of the Sonoma Land Trust family for three decades as donors. Barry’s older brother, Reuben, was the original treasurer of our board and no doubt shared stories of our work with Barry over the years. When Barry retired from a 40-year career as a builder and was ready to volunteer, his commitment to our work was already strong. How committed was he? Just take a look at a few of the projects Barry has helped with over the past couple years:
Thank you, Barry and Robin, for your support for the past 30 years. And thank you, Barry, for your volunteer service over these past couple of years! I am especially grateful to you for making the work fun by always packing along your sense of humor.
Karen Arrington is our volunteer program manager. When not in the office, she volunteers time to support youth athletic events and spends time with friends, many of whom are Land Trust volunteers
Sonoma Land Trust is a local nonprofit based in Santa Rosa, CA, that conserves scenic, natural, agricultural and open lands in Sonoma County for the benefit of the community and future generations. This blog focuses on SLT's stewardship team, whose members do hands-on work to directly protect, restore, and safeguard the land for generations to come.