Matt Champlin of Skaneateles, Onondaga County, NY
What is your volunteer role at the Finger Lakes Land Trust? What kinds of work do you do here?
I volunteer my time as a photographer and drone operator to showcase the beauty of the lands that the Land Trust protects. I love getting a birds-eye view of the areas that I hike, and enjoy the amazing vistas of the Finger Lakes.
How long have you been involved as a volunteer?
I’ve been helping to showcase these amazing properties since 2014.
Why do you volunteer?
It is important to give back and help other people in the local community—the place you call home. Too often I feel we take for granted the areas we have to enjoy, not appreciating the time and dedication that goes into saving them for future generations. Providing these snapshots of the beauty in the Finger Lakes is the least I can do to ensure these locations stay wild forever.
What’s your favorite FLLT activity and/or preserve, and why?
Growing up in the Skaneateles Lake watershed and fishing the creek, naturally my first and favorite preserve is Bahar Nature Preserve and the Carpenters Falls area. Coming in a close second is Lick Brook and the Sweedler Preserve.
Anything else you want to add?
I’m a computer science and technology teacher. I love doing this work because it helps me teach our next generation why it is important to protect these areas for the welfare of all. Working with a mesh of technology and the outdoors helps expose young minds to nature, and shows them there is more to life than screen time.