By Kevin Eickman
On Saturday, January 12 dozens of volunteers turned out at the DuPont Nature Center at Milford Reserve to participate in a winter work day. Among those who participated in the event was Governor Jack Markell as part of his continued commitment to volunteerism in The First State. In what is termed as the Week of Service, Governor Markell is participating this week in various volunteer opportunities throughout the state of Delaware.
Saturday was an opportunity to perform work at the DuPont Nature Center to correct conditions that have developed as a result of hurricane Sandy. Having the manpower in place to accomplish these long needed tasks was a blessing for the center. Talking with Lynne Staub from DNREC, it is easy to see how important work days like this are. “We are lucky to have so many people come out and lend us a hand,” Lynne said. “We will be able to get some work done that we couldn’t otherwise accomplish without all the extra help.”
There where volunteers from many walks of life, young and old, but all happy to be there on a warm Saturday in January. One of the volunteers was local photographer Bob Connely, who thinks that it is great to be able to lend a hand to the nature center. “It’s such a great place out here, it’s a wonderful place for taking pictures and looking at nature,” commented Connelly. “There is lots of work that needs to be done and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
Other volunteers thought it was a great opportunity for family time. One of the families chipping in was Chris Failing, who along with her son Colin Richie and Nia Richie came out to do their part. “It’s great for us to be able to lend a hand and it’s great family time as well.” she said.
Polytech High School students Ryan Hawkins and Kayla Harvey where also on hand to help with the cleanup effort. Ryan was volunteering as part of gaining credit for school but thought that it was a great way to spend a day out. “It is important that we are able to lend a hand, there is a lot of work that needs to be done.” he said.
Catching up with Governor Markell, it was clear to understand how committed he is to Delaware and the people within it. “This is an example of Delaware at it’s best, everyone chipping in and bringing their unique skills to the table,” stated Markell. “The fact that Delawareans step up to the challenges we have, speaks volumes about us.”
While a week of service is a fine way to get some needed projects accomplished, Lynne Staub points out that there are volunteer opportunities year round at the Dupont Nature Center. “There is always something that needs to be done and we are always in need of people to help us out,” commented Lynne. Those interested in volunteering at the Dupont Nature Center are encouraged to visit the DNREC website and search for volunteer opportunities in their area.