Sunday, August 25, 2013

Laura Frank - Sweet Springs September Volunteer Spotlight

Name: Laura Frank

Current residence: San Luis Obispo

Volunteer since: 2008

What made you decide to start volunteering at Sweet Springs?

Eric and I had volunteered for the Land Conservancy's water monitoring program for 9 years. That program ended and we were looking for another volunteer opportunity involving conservation work. Eric found out about Sweet Springs through Morro Coast Audubon and we decided to give it a try. I had driven by Sweet Springs and thought it was a beautiful area and I thought I would enjoy volunteering there.

What keeps you coming back?

The volunteer days are always very organized and the tools and materials are accessible. I always enjoy meeting and visiting with the other volunteers and seeing what we can accomplish as a group. The work seems a little overwhelming but when everyone contributes, it is rewarding to see the results.

What has been your most memorable experience?

When we first started working in East Sweet Springs most of the area was covered in veldt grass. I was thinking this is going to be impossible to remove and replant with natives. Little by little we worked to remove the veldt grass and then planted the area and now it is really thriving. It is also rewarding to see areas of Central Sweet Springs where we planted. Most of those areas are returning to their native vegetation and the landscape is looking great.

Do you have any words of wisdom for first-time volunteers?
It is probably scary at first to show up and not know what is expected of you. Holly has the volunteer time very organized and there are always other people around to help. If you are hesitant about what to do you can always ask any of the other volunteers. It is satisfying to see the results after one day of volunteering and the rewards are magnified the more times you volunteer and see the big impact your work is having on the area.

What do you do when you're not volunteering?

My day job is a physical therapist doing home health. I also enjoy running, swimming, playing water polo, hiking and backpacking. Eric and I enjoy traveling and hope to do more when we retire.