Spotlight: Dave Terry Epitomizes The Flanders Volunteer Spirit
Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust offers numerous opportunities for members and friends to volunteer time, skills and their talents with the organization and the community. From a Land Trust perspective, we rely on volunteers to carry out our mission of preserving and caring for more than 2,300 acres of protected property in the region. Often we find, these volunteers start off their careers after attending one of our many popular programs or events. Eventually they come to serve as part of the “Face of the Flanders”, helping us communicate all we do and have to offer.
One of these volunteers is Woodbury’s very own Dave Terry. Dave moved to town after his retirement in 2000, and attended Flanders annual Maple Sugaring program. Just a year later, he started volunteering in the program, and soon after began helping us out with other maintenance projects around our campus as well.
In 2008 Dave became involved with the Land Management Committee (LMC) first initially assisting the LMC Chairman installing property boundary signage and trail maintenance projects. Then eventually working his way up to becoming the Trail Maintenance Coordinator, which he has been championing ever since.
“I like volunteering at Flanders,” Dave says. It gets me out into the woods hiking around, using a chainsaw, and generally enjoying nature.” He says, “volunteering gives him a wonderful sense of accomplishment especially when he hears feedback from fellow hikers saying such things like, the trails are in such good shape. He believes this is one way to give something back to the community. This is especially true at the Whittemore Sanctuary, which is Flanders largest Preserve at 700 acres, with its variety of trails, and is used by dozens if not hundreds of people on a weekly basis.
Dave goes on to say that “one of his favorite volunteer projects was the footbridge he helped build at the Marzahl Refuge.” By totally rebuilding the bridge that crosses the beautiful Carmel Brook, it allowed Flanders to open up a whole new section of trail for hikers to enjoy. The footbridge was designed by other talented Flanders Volunteers who came up with a plan that utilized old telephone poles as the foundation, on top of which rested the decking and handrails, each made of 2×6 pressure treated wood.
“We did as much pre-fabrication as possible at Flanders Pole barn, and then transported the materials to the site on a trailer,” Dave says. All totaled, it took about 10 volunteers working for 5 days to assemble and build the entire structure.” Construction of the footbridge was completed in the Spring of 2018.
Dave could talk all day about Land Management issues, but on this day, he wanted to praise volunteer coordinator, Ana Jordan. Dave would like everyone to know that Ana brought in five new volunteers to the LMC since she became the Volunteer Coordinator back in October 2017.
“Dave has amazing spirit,” Ana says. “He is always willing to help and has a smile about it too. He will take on just about any task I might approach him with including helping others become successful volunteers too. Building a new bridge/trail is not something everyone knows how to do. But with the right volunteers willing to helping out, and with someone talented like Dave leading the way, volunteering at Flanders can be a most fulfilling and rewarding experience.”
Whether you’d like to volunteer for just a day, or help out when you have the time, Flanders needs you! Please contact Flanders’ volunteer coordinator Ana Jordan to learn more about available volunteer opportunities! And thanks Dave… you have been an amazing Flanders volunteer!