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When you think about helping out Lakeshore State Park, what do you picture? Do you want to work inside at your desk or outside in nature? Parts of the year or year-round? Using your experience or learning new skills?
Whatever your answer, you’re in luck. When you volunteer with the Friends of Lakeshore State Park, all those options are all available.
Just ask Matt Baudhuin, a volunteer with the Friends who has discovered firsthand how many opportunities there are. What started out as an interest in the environment has become a valuable learning experience for Matt, one he hopes to turn into a career.
Matt, 25, had been working an assistant land steward at the Urban Ecology Center, a seasonal job that nurtured his interest in the natural world. When he became acquainted with the Friends through his activities at local environmental organizations, he mentioned he wanted to learn about grant-writing. A few months later, the phone rang.
Today, Matt is on the Friends’ grant-writing committee, helping collect the data and details that are essential for applications that, if successful, will fund environmental efforts at LSP, among other activities. He works side-by-side with people who have lots of experience to share, and he’s learning the ropes as he goes.
Lakeshore State Park is the premier location for ecology downtown. The amount of programs that we’re offering is growing, the amount of park areas that we’re rehabilitating is growing, and the number of people that we’re reaching is growing.Matt Baudhuin
“I really enjoy writing grants, and it’s a great way to impact the environment in a different way than being out in the field,” says Matt.
Matt also pitches in with other volunteer efforts, such as clean-up days and food truck events. He encourages people to think about how they’d like to help or what they’d like to learn, then indicate those interests on the Friends’ volunteer interest form. Current needs include park greeters, caretakers to tend the restored prairies, citizen scientists, special events helpers and more. Help is needed with board membership and on committees as well.
You’ll be supporting a precious community asset as you work. “Lakeshore State Park is the premier location for ecology downtown,” says Matt. “The amount of programs that we’re offering is growing, the amount of park areas that we’re rehabilitating is growing, and the number of people that we’re reaching is growing.”
The people make it rewarding, too, says Matt. “I love working with the Friends of Lakeshore State Park. I’ve learned a lot and the people are amazing.”
Learn more about volunteering at the only urban state park in Wisconsin by contacting the Friends of Lakeshore State Park at email@example.com or sign up below.