2021 has been quite the year for Wilderness Volunteers! Despite the ongoing pandemic and tremendous wildfire season, we have successfully navigated a leadership transition and a safe and successful project season. Support from people like you was essential to Wilderness Volunteers’ survival. We could not have done it without you!
For the past six months, Wilderness Volunteers has stayed operational and fielded projects thanks to the hard work of Aidalicia Swertfeger, our Program Manager, members of the Board of Directors, and many dedicated individuals in the Wilderness Volunteers community. We saw several “retired” Wilderness Volunteers folks step up to help with our endeavors to rejuvenate Wilderness Volunteers in these changing times. Together, we welcomed a new Executive Director, three new Board members, and two new volunteer Board advisors. Our team is in the final stages of a major website rebuild and we expect our new, user-friendly site to launch in the next week or two (stay tuned!).
To date, we have safely fielded 26 projects this year, despite COVID-19 concerns, record wildfires in many of our project areas, and agency challenges. However, with over ten projects that were forced to be canceled due to COVID-19 surges and threatening wildfires, and with some fielded projects not hitting full capacity, we will see a decrease in our overall projected revenue for 2021.
Thanks to the generous support of donors last year, Wilderness Volunteers was able to continue “giving something back” throughout another year of challenges and uncertainty. Today, we are asking for your support to help ensure the stability of Wilderness Volunteers as we move successfully forward into the future.
We have set an ambitious goal of raising $75,000 by the end of 2021 to help cover unrealized project fee revenue, help stabilize Wilderness Volunteers for the long-term, and fund exciting new projects and initiatives in 2022. Please consider making a gift today to help Wilderness Volunteers continue our work of preserving the wild places we all love.
Next year, we will be celebrating 25 years of “giving something back” to our nation’s public lands. Over the past 24 years, we have provided over 310,000 hours of volunteer labor to public land management agencies: the equivalent of over $7 million in labor. Our community of dedicated volunteer project leaders, past project participants, and supporters are proud of the value we collectively add to our public lands through the work we accomplish. Your support today will help ensure that Wilderness Volunteers can continue this important work for another 25 years.
Our 2022 project schedule will be released on Wednesday, December 8th, with a longer project season and new projects being added throughout the year. Be sure to check our website for more information: www.wildernessvolunteers.org
On behalf of our public land agency partners, visitors to our beloved public lands, and all of us here at Wilderness Volunteers, we thank you for your ongoing support.
Cheryl Walczak, President, Board of Directors