The heart of Thousand Islands Land Trust is its volunteers. Each plays an intricate piece in helping TILT conserve the natural beauty, diverse wildlife habitats, water quality and outdoor recreation opportunities of the 1000 Islands region, for present and future generations.
The secret to great volunteers is PASSION. TILT volunteers have a PASSION for making a difference in their community. So what is PASSION? The dictionary defines it as a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire. Another way to define PASSION is Perseverance, Attitude, Support, Strength, Inspirational, Optimistic, and Nurturing.
Volunteers have the Perseverance to continue when the path isn’t always easy. They are motivated to complete tasks because they believe the cause is worth the effort and their effort is going to make a difference. In 1985 a group of year-round and seasonal residents in Clayton NY who were concerned about a balance between land conservation and development came to together to create the Thousand Islands Land Trust. These dedicated volunteers persevered and now 30 years later over 9,000 acres of natural lands have been conserved.
Volunteer’s Attitude, a respect for the land and love of our natural resources, motivates others. Harriet Tubman said, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” In other words, volunteering gives one the chance to “share (your) love of and joy of this special area and its components, its land features and its tenants, with young and old!” as noted by a 2015 Volunteer.
Volunteers work together to Support and Strengthen their community. Volunteers foster a “comraderie with many people who share an important passion which lasts forever!” stated a 2015 Volunteer. Volunteers have the opportunity to build relationship with others in the community, and in turn strengthen their community as a whole. Individuals each have their own strengths or gifts and volunteering gives them the opportunity to share their skills and enrich both the lives of others and themselves.
Volunteers are Inspirational and Optimistic with a vision for the future. “You meet people who are interested in something beyond themselves, and want to contribute to it.” shared a 2015 Volunteer. Volunteers are optimistic that every small contribution makes a difference. It has been said a waterfall starts with a drop of water, and so do the amazing efforts of volunteers. Even giving just a little can have a huge impact over time.
Volunteering helps Nurture the next generation of conservationists and foster relations within the community. “It is a great way to learn about an area, meet new friends, and give back to the community by volunteering. I love the mission of TILT and it is something that motivates me to conserve and preserve this beautiful garden of the Great Spirit.” noted a 2015 Volunteer.
The PASSION to make a difference, to make a change is in all of us! Share your PASSION with TILT today by volunteering and becoming a piece of the community conserving the land and water for future generations.
(Spring 2016 Reflections Newsletter)