My experience with volunteering for the state of Illinois could not be further from the “truth” as mentioned in your recent editorial titled, “In Illinois, volunteers are dirty scabs.”
I have worked with numerous Illinois Department of Natural Resources employees who not only welcome the public’s help, but encourage it. As a volunteer, I have worked at state owned, municipally owned and privately owned properties that are protected and managed by the state. Work has consisted of prescribed burning, invasive plant species removal, erosion control on trails and prairie restoration, among other tasks.
If you enjoy nature and the outdoors and wish to help the state preserve our natural heritage, please contact a local conservation organization such as Clifftop, based in Maeystown, HeartLands Conservancy, based in Mascoutah, Salt Lick Point Stewardship Committee, in Valmeyer, Friends of Stemler Cave Woods, in Columbia, Greenspace, in Belleville or The Nature Institute, in Alton. Just search the internet for contact information.
I challenge the BND editorial staff to get out from behind their computers and get down and dirty with nature by doing some volunteer work for the benefit of all of Illinois.
Mike Fricke, Waterloo