Spring brings outdoor volunteer opportunities

Spring has finally sprung. This is a great time to think about volunteering outdoors. The Land Conservancy of McHenry County is one place you may want to help. They have posted the following volunteer needs:

• Habitat Restoration Opportunities

Location: Woodstock

Habitat restoration work days occur every Wednesday morning, as well as the second and last weekends of the month at sites around McHenry County. Volunteers help remove invasive species that threaten the health of ancient oak woodlands and prairies. Activities include cutting small brush with loppers, helping stack brush onto burn piles, or pulling weeds.

• Plant Nursery Workdays

Location: Harvard

We are working with a local tree nursery in Harvard to help grow native shrubs and trees for our organization. Each workday we will be planting a couple of different species, such as oaks, hazelnuts, witch hazel and many other native shrubs, small trees, and even a couple of our favorite large trees. We’ll select just a few species each day, but there are quite a few steps to planting each one.

• • •

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2013 McHenry County Human Race. This year, 969 individuals registered for the 5K race April 21 in McHenry. Fifty-seven charities were supported. Last-minute donations pushed the amount raised to more than $82,500 this year.

Special thanks to the sponsors that made the race possible: The McHenry County Community Foundation, Illinois State Bank, Covidien, Northwest Herald, Centegra Health System, Advocacy Good Shepherd Hospital, SAGE Products, Mercy Health System, New Balance, The Running Depot, Accelerated Rehab Centers and the Jeffery Prickett Family. Volunteers played a key role in the event – 18 committee members and an additional 80 event volunteers. Kudos to all involved.

If you or your group need help finding a place to volunteer or are a nonprofit in need of volunteers, visit www.volunteermchenrycounty.org or call 815-344-4483. The Volunteer Center of McHenry County is a one stop shop, matching individuals of all ages with nonprofits in need. The Volunteer Center also provides nonprofit training. The next training is May 21 on risk management.

• Rebecca Stiemke is the director of United Way McHenry County Volunteer Center. She can be reached at 815-344-4483 or rstiemke@volunteermchenrycounty.org.

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