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Winter/Spring 2012





FEBRUARY 25-26, History of Maple Sugaring MARCH 3-4 & 10-11 ROCKY RIVER RESERVATION MARCH 18



“Toad-ally” Awesome Amphibians NORTH CHAGRIN RESERVATION

APRIL 21-22


MAY 19

Children’s Fishing Derby OHIO & ERIE CANAL RESERVATION

MAY 20





Healthy Planet, Healthy People & 5K Run ROCKY RIVER RESERVATION







Please contact Heather at 216-635-3258 if you are interested in assisting at or attending any of these events.


Volunteering: Here and Around the World The very first State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program was launched in early December. The SWVR promotes a better understanding of volunteerism. It demonstrates the universality, scope and reach of volunteerism along with new trends in the twenty-first century. The report examines important contributions in diverse fields such as sustainable livelihoods, social inclusion, social cohesion, disaster risk reduction, governance and political participation. By suggesting how volunteerism can be taken forward, the SWVR also provides an alternative vision of a better society. The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report shows that, in most societies around the world, volunteers make significant contributions to economic and social development.

centers, shops, programs, projects, golf courses, surveys, activities, and events were staffed and that visitors had positive experiences. In the coming months, look for the 2011 Volunteer Services Annual Report which will include a summary of all of last year’s volunteer activity and successes!

During 2011, more than 300 individuals inquired about volunteer activities with the Park District. From those individuals, about 140 new volunteers joined the volunteer corps to ensure that the nature

Best wishes to all for a 2012 filled with good health, peace and success!

Thanks to each of you for the precious gift of your time! All your efforts and services to the Park District are greatly appreciated.

Heather Triplett, Manager of Volunteer Services

Volunteer Satisfaction Survey – Focus Group Update In May 2011, 397 volunteers shared their thoughts and provided feedback to the Volunteer Satisfaction Survey. As mentioned, Focus Groups to further discuss the suggestions and trends that resulted from the survey will be scheduled. There are three main themes that will be discussed during each focus group: Communication, Continuing Education and Recognition. Volunteers are being randomly selected to attend a focus group. If you are selected, you will receive an invitation via regular mail to attend one of three scheduled dates. I look forward to your participation and discussion during these meetings! The 2012 Cleveland Metroparks District-Wide Volunteer Picnic is scheduled for Friday, June 15th at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. All Cleveland Metroparks volunteers who have donated a minimum of 15 cumulative hours will receive an invitation by mid-May to the picnic! Save the date and make sure you have enough hours donated to be invited to this fun event!

Cleveland Metroparks Volunteer Services 4101 Fulton Parkway Cleveland, OH 44144 216-635-3258

Rocky River Nature Center

Institute of the Great Indoors

Rocky River Nature Center volunteers and staff, Betty Mullaly, Judy Boone, Gretchen Motts, Ethel Morawetz and Carol Taller (pictured left to right) help with bucket cleaning following the annual Maple Sugaring Festival.

featured volu teer opportu ity

IGO provides nature based outdoor recreation classes and experiences to participants of all ages and abilities. Each winter/spring IGO actively recruits volunteers to assist as program hosts both for indoor and outdoor classes. Volunteer skill level varies based on class need. Whether it’s a paddling program, backpacking, classroom lecture or office assistance, volunteers are essential in helping IGO continue to provide quality, year round programming. To find out more about programs or how to become an IGO volunteer feel free to call our office Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at 216-341-1704.

featured volu teer opportu ity n

Other volunteer opportunities are always available and include stream biomonitoring, amphibian survey, raptor survey, front desk assistant, gardening/Green Team, Project FeederWatch, and trail walking. Contact Rocky River Nature Center at 440-734-6660 for further information.

Volunteer Liz Clingman assists during an IGO Canoe program.

BRECKSVILLE NATURE CENTER Brecksville Nature Center staff would like to say THANK YOU to our many volunteers for their hard work and dedication throughout this past year. We greatly appreciate your time and willingness to help with our projects and programs. From helping in the prairie garden, monitoring bluebird nesting boxes, cooking at Breakfast in the Park, working with our summer day camp kids, staffing the nature center booth at the Brecksville Home Days, to demonstrating a pioneer craft at FallFest, we couldn’t do these things without your help! These are only a few of the many volunteer opportunities available at Brecksville Nature Center. If you are interested in helping in 2012, contact Kelly McGinnis at 440-526-1012 or

GOLF SERVICES Golf Services has over 88 active volunteers


Volunteering opportunities are available yearround at Rocky River Nature Center, but this year we have some exciting new additions. Start the New Year off with Winteriffic! On January 8, at The Chalet, we will give visitors a taste of the many activities that Cleveland Metroparks offers in the winter. Volunteers will be needed to assist with crafts and demonstrations. On June 9, Healthy Planet, Healthy People, will debut. This event will host a 5K run/walk and will need many volunteers to help with registration, water distribution, and awards. Don’t miss out on some old-fashioned fun at Good Ol’ Summertime (July 15). Volunteers will be needed to assist with the old fashioned base ball game, ice cream making, and more. Finish off the year with the Reflections of Nature Arts and Craft Sale. We will be looking for volunteers willing to be greeters and willing to help cover vendor lunch breaks. We are very excited about what 2012 is going to bring. Be sure to mark your calendar for these new events, as well as your other favorites (Birds of Prey, Maple Sugaring, Cedar Valley Settlers Celebration, and Quilt Show).

who contributed almost 9,900 hours in 2011 to Cleveland Metroparks golf courses. These volunteers assist with activities ranging from Pro Shop assistant to Golf Ranger at the courses and also play a special role in teaching youth the game of golf at special events. Mike Raby, PGA Master Professional/Clubhouse Manager, states, “Our volunteer rangers and cart attendants have been a great help in improving our customers’ experience at the golf course while also holding down costs so we can keep our green fees as affordable as possible for all our golfers.” Golf volunteer opportunities, such as volunteer starters, cart attendants, rangers and pro shop assistants, are available at Big Met, Mastick Woods, Manakiki, Seneca, Shawnee Hills, Sleepy Hollow, and Washington Golf Courses. Contact Heather for more information or to learn which opportunities are available at each site.



Bill Miller: Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award Honorable Mention Recipient

Cleveland Metroparks 2020! Cleveland Metroparks is continuing its strategic planning process for “Cleveland Metroparks 2020.” Your participation and feedback is desired to help with the planning process. “Open houses” are being conducted to gain employee and volunteer input on proposed plans for each reservation. Please drop in at the centers to review and offer feedback during the times listed below. Staff will be available to answer any questions. Volunteers are an integral part of Cleveland Metroparks! We hope you will take the opportunity to participate in the planning process!

Bill Miller helps make maple syrup during the annual Maple Sugaring Festival in Rocky River Reservation.

Bill Miller has been a Rocky River Nature Center volunteer for over twenty-five years! During that time, Bill has donated over 2,200 hours! With his extensive knowledge of nature and pioneer skills, Bill helps with the Cedar Valley Settlers Celebration and with maple sugaring. By making maple syrup and helping share information with visitors, he garnered the nickname “Sweet Ol’ Bill.” Oftentimes, he sits in cold temperatures to continue the tradition of maple sugaring and to pass his knowledge to a new generation. He says that volunteering is “the sweetest job,” as a nod to his maple syrup making. In 2011, Rocky River Nature Center nominated Bill for the Medical Mutual Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award. This award, sponsored by the Medical Mutual Senior Advisory Council, recognizes citizens (age 65 or older) who volunteer their time to help others. Nominations are submitted from community organizations across Ohio. Each year, a bronze, silver, gold and platinum award are awarded to outstanding volunteers. In addition, a handful of deserving volunteers are recognized as Honorable Mention award recipients. We are proud to announce that Bill Miller received an Honorable Mention award. Please join us in congratulating Bill for his award and his contribution to Cleveland Metroparks. If you have a suggestion for a volunteer to highlight for this or other volunteer awards, please let Heather know at 216-635-3258 or

TRAIL MONITORS During 2011, 161 volunteers, age 35 years and older, donated over 8,600 hours to monitoring designated trails in 12 Cleveland Metroparks reservations. Trail Monitors are pairs of First Aid/CPR certified volunteers that hike or bike (for a minimum of 40 hours) throughout the Park District each year from May through December. Each year returning Trail Monitor volunteers attend a CPR/First Aid recertification class and Refresher training. All new volunteers attend Trail Monitor training and First Aid/CPR certification in April. The summer season begins with a Kickoff Reception that brings together returning and new volunteers. All Trail Monitor volunteers are also invited to attend a special mid-season gathering, such as hiking in Brecksville Reservation. Trail Monitors are invited to a recognition breakfast in November to celebrate their involvement! In 2012, individuals, age 35 and older, are invited to participate in this fun and rewarding volunteer activity. Applications will be accepted through February 10th. A limited number of spaces are available for this activity.

Open House Schedule JANUARY 9, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Rocky River Nature Center Rocky River Bradley Woods Huntington Big Creek JANUARY 19, 1-5 p.m. CanalWay Center Ohio & Erie Canal Brookside Washington JANUARY 23, 12-4 p.m. Brecksville Nature Center Brecksville Hinckley Mill Stream Run FEBRUARY 7, 1-5 p.m. Look About Lodge North Chagrin South Chagrin FEBRUARY 15, 12-4 p.m. Garfield Park Nature Center Garfield Park Bedford West Creek Euclid


Printed on recycled paper


Len: Institute of the Great Outdoors (IGO) Natural Resources Rocky River Nature Center Trail Monitor Helen: PPIP Mentor Rocky River Nature Center (Cleveland Metroparks Zoo) FAVORITE VOLUNTEER ACTIVITY

Although Helen enjoys working with the students through the PPIP Mentor activity, it is the special events that are her favorite. Helen states, “I like the events, like Chickadee Nest and Maple Sugaring, for the interaction with visitors. Visitors are so nice and like to talk about their experience.” On the other hand, Len does not have a specific favorite, rather he says, “Each activity/group has its own special moments which make it a favorite activity.”

Cleveland Metroparks Volunteers Len and Helen Vickory

The Volunteer Vista section provides an opportunity to get to know fellow Cleveland Metroparks volunteers. On-site volunteer coordinators submit suggestions for which volunteer to highlight. From those suggestions, volunteer names are selected at random. HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH CLEVELAND METROPARKS?

“Len started it!” That is the playful response that Helen gives when asked how she got involved with Cleveland Metroparks. Her husband, Len, met some Trail Monitor volunteers on the trails in 2008. He inquired about the program and was accepted into the next training in 2009. Shortly after his involvement started as a Trail Monitor, Len signed up for an activity with Natural Resources and also helped with an adaptive biking program with IGO. Also wanting to volunteer, but interested in different volunteer options, Helen decided to start helping in late 2009 at Rocky River Nature Center. Soon after, Helen was intrigued by the PPIP Mentor volunteer option and has been a mentor since 2010. Helen, who works full time, is also a volunteer at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo! Together, Len and Helen also enjoy helping at events at Rocky River Nature Center.

with people, the joy on their faces and feel like I am making a difference when I can help someone learn a new skill or give them good advice.” COMMENTS FROM PROGRAM/SITE STAFF

Since Helen and Len volunteer at a number of sites, there were many positive thoughts and comments to share. These comments came from Joel Howson (PPIP), Mike McCormick (Trail Monitor), Rachel Brand, Philip Brekke, Laura Trivison (Institute of the Great Outdoors), and Wendy Weirich and Min Keung, (Rocky River Nature Center).

Here are just some of the comments: “Helen is tenacious and always eager to assist Interns assigned to her from the Path Parkways Intern Partnership (P.P.I.P.).” “Len and Helen have helped us [Rocky River Nature Center] so much with special events and last minute requests. They are a positive force in the world and contribute on many levels to MOST MEMORABLE VOLUNTEER MOMENTS Cleveland Metroparks.” “Len has been a Trail Monitor Len has many memorable moments, but two stand since 2009. If we were looking for an example Trail out the most. The first, as he explains, was when “IGO sent me to an adaptive kayak workshop to learn Monitor, Len Vickory would be that role model. He techniques. I was assigned to a lady who had Cerebral takes his volunteering seriously but not without humor.” “Len’s dedication to connecting citizens Palsy. During the workshop I had to help design an of Cuyahoga and surrounding counties to outdoor adaptation for the kayak that would work for her. The recreational activities with IGO is heartwarming. You look on her face when she was able to go out in the can count on Len to get to know the participants kayak alone was great!” Second, Len recalls a time and help them understand the concepts we are when he was assisting during the Maple Sugaring Festival in Rocky River Reservation. He was giving out teaching.” “Over the last couple of years Len has participated in numerous high level certification syrup samples, which involved placing a drop on a person’s fingers. Len recalls, “There was a little girl who courses not only to better his personal skill set but stuck out her finger. I told her I needed another finger, to make him a more versatile volunteer. Len is now certified in Wilderness First Aid, and is an American meaning two fingers on one hand. Instead she pulled her glove off using her teeth and stuck out a finger on Canoe Association Kayak Instructor with an Adaptive Paddling Endorsement. Not only do I enjoy Len’s her other hand! It was very funny!” Helen states that everything is a memorable moment for her. She enjoys insight and suggestions regarding the program at hand, but participants seem to be put at ease with her activities and all the people she meets. his caring personality and focus on group safety. Len always brings a high level of professionalism to IGO WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER? programs as well as an infectious sense of humor Helen says she volunteers because, “I enjoy trying that brings a smile to the entire group.” new things and I like to meet new people.” Len states, “Volunteering makes me feel good. I like the interaction

Volunteering Naturally, Winter/Spring 2012  

Cleveland Metroparks volunteer newsletter