In 2015-2016, while working on earning her Iowa Master Naturalist Certification, Adriane learned about Bur Oak Land Trust from a peer, and made the decision to volunteer as a property steward. She began work in 2016, but has recently increased her efforts to help manage and protect the property at Big Grove Preserve. She works alongside Ken Lowder and Don Bolin, both long-time volunteer property stewards, and all are currently in the process of locating and removing invasive species, such as garlic mustard and oriental (asiatic) bittersweet, which have been disrupting the woodland at our Big Grove property. An avid outdoorswoman, she also spends her time hiking and running, in addition to supporting local foster children.
While she has dedicated many hours volunteering, her best experience has been seeing the actual impact of the work she and her fellow property stewards have done. They have made great strides regarding invasive species removal and conserving native plant species. She would like everyone to be aware that Big Grove is open to the public, and the property steward’s work ensures that it will continue to be preserved for the public to enjoy. She personally has learned a great deal during her time with Bur Oak Land Trust, especially in regard to invasive species and conservation methods.
For people interested in volunteering, Adriane would say that Bur Oak Land Trust manages lots of different properties and projects, so it’s easy for volunteers to find a good property/project fit for your goals, skills, and abilities. Additionally, it is usually easy to see the immediate impact of the volunteer work.