RAVEs define Earth Day 2015
Engaged citizens committed Random Acts of Volunteering for Earth (RAVE) to clear invasive species, collect garbage, restore habitats, inform interested individuals and establish formal ties with two colleges from April 18-25 – Earth Day activities at their finest.
With the help of Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation board and staff members, the cooperative efforts demonstrated how common goals, restoration knowledge and elbow grease can help restore our Mother Earth’s precious resources.
INHF board member Jan Lovell organized this crew of volunteers to clean up Ventura Cove Woods near Clear Lake on Saturday, April 18, as the perfect way to begin INHF’s Random Acts of Volunteering for Earth (RAVE) week, which was orchestrated in conjunction with Earth Day 2015. Photo by Jan Lovell.
RAVE week started in Cerro Gordo County when INHF’s board member Jan Lovell organized a group of friends to collect garbage in Ventura Cove Woods on Saturday, April 18. This hardy group braved north central Iowa’s strong winds and filled a dump truck with garbage to show how important spring clean-ups are for the environment. Lovell said, “It’s amazing to see what people continue to toss out.”
Twenty-one Central College students joined biology professor Dr. Russ Benedict (back row, center) and INHF staff members Melanie Louis (far left), Ryan Schmidt (back row, right) and Mary Runkel (front row, right) in the removal of honeysuckle and autumn olive on the Mathes property in Marion County. (Photo by INHF’s Land Projects Specialist Ross Baxter)
Never to be out-worked, biology professor Dr. Russ Benedict and 21 enthusiastic Central College students spent their Central College Service Day removing honeysuckle and autumn olive from a ravine on INHF’s Mathes property in Marion County. On Tuesday, April 21, Benedict explained why invasive species removal is important to the environment and then conducted a 10 minute walk-about wildflower discussion using native Bloodroot, Spring beauties, Rue anemone and Bluebells that were in their full Earth Day bloom.
Another rugged RAVE college work group hailed from DMACC’s Ecology Club under the guidance of biology and environmental science Professor Aaron L. Alford, Ph.D. and INHF Program and Planning Director Lisa Hein. On Earth Day, April 22, the five-student group raked and bagged winter leaves, trimmed and identified perennials and talked about the butterflies in DMACC’s Craig Dilley Memorial Butterfly Garden.
This enthusiastic group of Iowa City RAVE 2015 workers were inspired and gathered by INHF board members Susan Salterberg (back row, red gloves) and Susan Shullaw (back row, cap and sunglasses) to trim native grasses in the Terry Trueblood State Recreation Center for their Earth Day contribution. INHF’s Mary Runkel is on the left.
INHF board members Susan Shullaw and Susan Salterberg gathered friends, family and INHF’s Volunteer Coordinator Mary Runkel (left) to create the Iowa City branch of RAVE for Earth Day. The City of Iowa City provided equipment and the volunteers provided enthusiasm to trim back native grasses for the season at the Terry Trueblood State Recreation Center on Wednesday, April 22.
Riders picked up trash between Council Bluffs and Mineola along the Wabash Trace Nature Trail during a RAVE in conjunction with the trail’s annual Spring Kickoff and fundraiser.
INHF Communications Specialist Joe Jayjack, left, and Southwest Iowa Nature Trails (SWINT) board member Greg Losh led a group of volunteers that picked up trash along the Wabash Trace.
Finally, on Saturday, April 25, INHF brought the RAVE to the Wabash Trace Nature Trail in Southwest Iowa. In conjunction with the trail’s annual Spring Kickoff, riders picked up trash along the trail between Council Bluffs and Mineola before a fundraising dinner and auction for SWINT at Tobey Jack’s. Approximately 30 people volunteered for the cleanup and removed a truck-full of trash along the Wabash, which was one of INHF’s first trail projects in the 1980s.
To learn more about INHF’s volunteer program or how to host your own RAVE, contact Mary Runkel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-288-1846.