Valerie first volunteered with Bur Oak Land Trust as a guest bartender for an Iowa Brewing Company fundraiser event in August 2019. With some nudging from the current executive director, she later joined the Publicity Committee and assumed the role of committee chair in January 2020.
Valerie describes feeling a call to work in land conservation coming from multiple sides: she has worked on grants that are focused on flood prevention and water quality, she is an avid trail user as a regular trail runner in the Iowa City community, and she is excited to teach her kids about the importance of native vegetation and land conservation. She explains, “The more I learn about land conservation and protection, the more passionate I am that this is important work. Professionally, I am a program evaluator. I’ve been eager to find a way to merge my professional experience with ways to make this world a better place.”
Valerie’s hobbies include trail running, hiking, dancing with her kiddos, knitting, and baking.
When asked what she’s personally gotten out of volunteering with Bur Oak Land Trust, Valerie described that she has made some great new friends. She said, “It’s been great to connect with both team members and volunteers who are passionate about this work. I love that they can be awesome resources and cheerleaders for me as I continue down this path of conservation.”