Carter first volunteered for Bur Oak Land Trust back in the summer of 2008 when the organization was the Johnson County Heritage Trust, where he helped property stewards Wayne Petersen and Dan Black with some shrub planting and fence work at Belgum Grove. A friend had mentioned that the Trust did great conservation work and he wanted to see what this organization was all about and contribute whatever he could. He thought volunteering at Belgum Grove for a workday sounded like a great way to get involved.
When not volunteering for Bur Oak Land Trust, Carter likes to spend as much time outside as he can year round. He and his wife get out daily to walk their dogs in the neighborhood, and they also like to hit the bike and hiking trails in northeast Iowa as often as they can. Once a year Carter also heads out to canoe and fish in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota with college friends.
Carter still thinks that very first workday way back in 2008 was his best volunteering experience, because it was the first point of contact with an organization that has given back to him as much as he have contributed to it. Carter continues to enjoy his volunteering experiences at Bur Oak Land Trust and since he is the volunteer property steward at Shimek Ravine, recently he has been working a great deal on invasive species removal, which includes pulling garlic mustard, and removing non-native, invasive vines and shrubs.
Carter says of Bur Oak Land Trust, “The Trust is involved with the demanding and ongoing work of managing its properties in order to maintain and encourage biodiversity. Each property provides habitat for numerous plant, insect, and animal species. One species of particular note is the rusty patched bumblebee, which has been recently listed as a threatened species. Our care for the land will ensure that there is suitable habitat for those little creatures and many others for years to come.”
Carter continues to feel that his volunteering efforts gives him the sense of contributing to something greater and longer-lasting than himself and energizes his life as a volunteer and in day-to-day pursuits. When thinking about volunteering outside, he feels that a day working in nature is hardly work at all – and it’s a great way to enjoy and appreciate the subtle beauty of the shared Iowa landscape.