In Iowa, we are lucky to have a unique system of County Conservation Boards doing land management and natural resources education in every county! County Conservation staff are vital for the implementation of natural resources educational programs, include the Master Conservationist Program (MCP). Volunteering with your local County Conservation Board (CCB) is a great way to engage with natural resources in Iowa and put your natural resources knowledge to practice. We recently spoke with Nancy Franz, a MCP graduate and Story County Conservation Board member, on ways that MCP graduates and others can engage with their local CCB. There is a grand spectrum for volunteering when it comes to being involved with your CCB, and Nancy walked us through all the opportunities!
- Attend Events - Something simple that you can do to support your CCB is to attend events! This is a low investment activity, and a great way to start a relationship with your CCB.
- Visit Properties/Parks - Another low investment way to support your CCB is to visit their property and parks in your area! It is also a great way to enjoy more of the beautiful natural resources in your own area.
- Tell Others/Advocate - Telling others about the great work your CCB does is another small way to get involved! Help spread the word and advocate for the work happening in your area.
- Volunteer - If you really want to step up your involvement in your CCB work, you can volunteer! Volunteering on a one-time basis, for a seasonal project, or as a master volunteer (which Nancy describes as someone who volunteers 40 hours a year or more) are all great ways to be involved.
- Provide leadership - If you really want to take a big step in your involvement with your local CCB, you can volunteer to provide leadership! Work to support legislation and policies that help protect your local natural resources. You can also apply to be a board member on your CCB!
In whatever way you decide to become involved with your CCB, remember that all your efforts are appreciated! It is important to remember that it is not always about what content knowledge you bring to your volunteer work. Think about your own skills that you can bring to the table. Are you a great planner? Do you enjoy making excel files? These are all skills that can help your CCB efforts!
If you have more questions about involvement with your local County Conservation Board, feel free to reach out to Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.