Fifty-two down, 9,948 to go! The Southeastern Grasslands Initiative has a goal of recruiting 10,000 volunteers throughout their 23-state region to jumpstart a movement to bring back, understand, and appreciate native grasslands.
Clarksville, Tenn. (Jan 27, 2019) - The Southeastern Grasslands Initiative (SGI) held its inaugural volunteer workday at Dunbar Cave State Park on Sunday, January 27th, and all agreed it was a huge success. The predicted winter weather conditions were delayed in favor of perfect conditions for working outside. Families and individuals united by an interest in getting involved in something positive for the environment came together to lend a hand for the restoration of a new native grassland area that locals and visitors will enjoy for years to come.
By the end of the day, more than 50 people (children and adults)—some from sister organizations—volunteered as restorationists and citizen scientists to support the goal of local conservation. New friendships were created while old ones were rekindled.
Volunteer John Webb said, “I came with the idea of volunteering time just to help out, but left with a whole new understanding, appreciation, and sense of urgency for native grassland restoration. I got to meet a lot of great people of all ages from the community who also shared a passion for restoring native habitat.”
The activities included clearing invasive species, identifying species after receiving a quick training in use of the iNaturalist app, planting native seeds by hand, wickiup (grass hut) building for the kids and the young at heart, and a historic tour by SGI’s co-founder and Executive Director, Dr. Dwayne Estes.
The Southeastern Grasslands Initiative (SGI) is a project of Austin Peay State University. Be sure to join SGI for future volunteer opportunities and be sure to invite a friend. Those interested in future volunteer opportunities are invited to sign up as an SGI volunteer here.
For more inspiration, read what some of SGI’s inaugural volunteers had to say about the event: