Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Person
Jennifer Person and her family moved to Erie in 2011. They were looking for a home in Millcreek when their real estate agent told them about Asbury Woods. “Having a nature reserve so close to our home was absolutely a selling point. As our kids grew older, they participated in camps and programs at Asbury Woods. When I would drop them off, I would take time for myself and walk the boardwalk trails and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature and frequent wildlife encounters.” Jennifer and her husband started participating in some of our adult education, attended our annual Wine & Dine in the Woods fundraiser and brought their sons to many of our fun for all ages festivals.
Jennifer started to volunteer at Asbury Woods when she was looking for volunteer opportunities for her sons who needed service hours for their Scout programs, but it quickly became something that she found peace and joy in for herself. “Once I signed up to help my boys and saw all the opportunities available for volunteers, I just jumped in with both feet. My volunteering is partially selfish. It makes me feel good to give of myself and my time. As a busy mom, there is always something to do for my family and it is easy to put off doing things for me. It is easy to neglect myself and not find time to recharge. When I sign up to volunteer at Asbury Woods, that time is carved out for me. I have an obligation to be there to help, but I am also fulfilling an obligation to myself. I am taking that time to do something that makes me feel good while also being helpful to others.”
Volunteering at Asbury Woods has led to many great experiences and Jennifer can attest that she has learned a lot along the way. “Thanks to the knowledgeable naturalists, I can identify the state tree of Pennsylvania, learned about the health of Walnut Creek and our impact on it, have harvested maple sap and made fresh maple syrup, can finally identify poison ivy, and can tell you some of the differences between the Grandmother Maple and the Grandfather Tree!”
Jennifer’s advice about volunteering at Asbury Woods is, “Just try it! I enjoy working with everyone at Asbury Woods and there are so many different opportunities. There is sure to be something that suits your interests.”
We appreciate all that our volunteers do, and for people like Jennifer who jump in with two feet to help us accomplish our goals! If you would like to volunteer, check out the volunteer opportunities listed on our website under “Get Involved,” or contact Rachel Hull, Development Associate at 814-836-6181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.