Name of the project: Marsh maintenance in the Gleissental valley
Date: March 22, 2023
Name: Stefanie Koller
Why did you participate in the project?
I have never been a private volunteer before, so I really wanted to give it a try. I am also very interested in environmental and nature conservation topics in general. I had actually never dealt with moorland management before and found it very exciting how important intact moors are for the climate as the most effective carbon store of all land habitats. And to maintain them, unwanted vegetation has to be removed regularly.
What did you like most about it?
We were totally lucky with the weather and were able to soak up the sun all day. Far away from cell phone and computer screens, it was a great change from the daily office routine. You were physically exhausted at the end of the day, but felt so refreshed at the same time.
The marsh itself was simply also exciting - what vegetation grows there and how you suddenly sunk into the ground in certain places and the frogs hiding in the grass - that day I also simply experienced and discovered so many new things.
In addition, the people in charge at Bund Naturschutz were very nice and explained and showed us a lot. Working with them and my colleagues was a lot of fun! 😊
What did you maybe not like so much?
Noticing the next day that you have muscles in places you didn't even know you had (fun 😉).
How important is volunteering to you?
Even though I have not volunteered before, I think it is very important. I believe that each of us should take responsibility for our community and, of course, for our environment. Volunteering is an opportunity to take on this responsibility and at the same time it gives you the chance to gain new experiences and to develop your personal strengths. You can also expand your network and get to know many people who share the same interests.
What do you take away from the project?
Unfortunately, bog maintenance once a year is not enough. It takes many helpers to rid a bog of unwanted vegetation, which of course also grows back constantly. Therefore, one can unfortunately also speak of a - never-ending - Sisyphean task. And yet every work done is so valuable for the moor.
Three words that best describe your volunteering experience?
Experiential, educational & nature(PUR) 😊
Anything else you want to get off your chest?
I think it's great that my employer allows me to participate in social projects like these. It's a great feeling when your actions can actually make a positive difference and you're needed. I'll definitely be back at the start of the next moorland maintenance campaign. 💪