The Meet MHLC blog series is back in action! This month we are picking back up the series to introduce Bill Little, our newest MHLC Board Member. Bill has jumped right in, volunteering for countless work days with the stewardship team and tabling for MHLC at community events. We are very grateful for his dedication and tireless efforts to advance land conservation in the region!
When did you begin volunteering with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy?
I joined MHLC in 2018 after being encouraged to do so by a friend and MHLC member, so I began volunteering about a year after I retired as an attorney for the Department of Environmental Conservation. I was fortunate to be able to join the MHLC Board in March of this year.
What inspires you to support MHLC?
I had known about MHLC for many years during my legal career through friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. I knew that MHLC provided a conduit for many people to translate their environmental activism directly to the land, especially preserving important landscapes and watersheds. Upon joining, I found that MHLC’s extended chain of preserves and their considerable and growing preservation efforts impressed me as a way to expand my contact with and improvement of our area’s natural resources. This includes topical concerns such as climate change, which was a subject of my job, and long-held personal convictions about spending more time appreciating and protecting woodlots and wild areas.
As a volunteer, I keep it simple because MHLC staffers know a great deal about the preserves and are more experienced in identifying ways to enhance them, plus they are good listeners. I am there to dig, lift, shift, clip, cut, chop, hammer, weed-whack and learn. I try to contribute in any way that supports the mission assigned to the workday; hopefully, I see the work needs and identify solutions in a way that helps. Another role is to use my time to try and draw other people towards a greater appreciation for preserving the local environment that, because of its closeness to our towns and neighborhoods, will contribute highly to our quality of life.
Which is your favorite aspect of volunteering with MHLC?
The list for favorite aspects of volunteering is very long but there are two core elements that I really value: spending time enhancing preserves and extending MHLC’s outreach. Preserve work is how I can roll up my sleeves and get personal with ground-level environmental preservation, which I have always liked to do but had inadequate time for while working. Contributing to outreach efforts (as with tabling at Five Rivers) has the added element of drawing a bit on my professional skills in a forum that is more down to earth. Both have an element of expectation for raising greater public appreciation of MHLC and its environmental mission.