McKenzie first started volunteering for Bur Oak Land Trust as a marketing intern in August of 2018. She was just entering her senior year at the University of Iowa, and she wanted to gain more marketing experience while exploring her sustainability interests. She had first heard about the Trust during her freshman year at Kirkwood and have been following Bur Oak Land Trust ever since.
When not in class, at work, or at Bur Oak Land Trust’s office, McKenzie is usually found somewhere outdoors, where she loves to go on hikes with friends, help out with her family’s garden, or read and study anywhere outside. Favorite hiking trails include Hickory Hill Park and Lake Macbride, and she tries to visit these locations as often as possible when the weather is nice. McKenzie also loves to travel and this year she was able to visit India, Montana, Wyoming, Washington D.C., and North Carolina. A trip to either Colombia or Europe next summer after she graduates is also being planned.
When asked what she thinks her best volunteering experience is so far with Bur Oak Land Trust, McKenzie thinks it was awesome to see all of the hard work done in the office in preparation for the annual “Under a Cider Moon…a Celebration of Autumn” fundraising event, and how it all came to life on the night of the event at such a beautiful venue.
After wrapping up Cider Moon, which she had been working on since starting in August, McKenzie is now working on creating and maintaining relationships with businesses in the community, especially through the Trust’s brochure outreach efforts. She feels these efforts help to share the Trust’s conservation mission with the community – understanding that community involvement is vital to the work being done by Bur Oak Land Trust. Before volunteering with Bur Oak Land Trust, McKenzie didn’t realize how many properties the Trust maintains and all of the events that are held.
McKenzie really loves the connections she has made while volunteering for Bur Oak Land Trust – all while developing her career skills. When asked how to encourage those who are on the fence about volunteering for the Trust, McKenzie says, “The passion and dedication that Bur Oak Land Trust has for conserving land and promoting health in and around Johnson County is really inspiring. It is so rewarding to know that each volunteer’s efforts help to further the Trust’s extremely important mission to protect natural areas for current and future generations. Volunteering is a great way to learn more about conservation in Iowa and to really make an impact for a great cause!”