Roger Hopkins of Ithaca, Tompkins County, NY.
What is your volunteer role at the Finger Lakes Land Trust? What kinds of work do you do here?
I have helped with work projects at a number of preserves including trail building and clearing and pulling and cutting invasive plants. The first construction work was a kiosk, culvert and bridge at Carpenters Falls in 2006, the beaver dam drain at Lindsay-Parsons, kiosk at Sweedler, and sign at Stevenson in 2007.
Then signs at Goetchius, Park, Parker, Salmon Creek, and Martin in 2008. Kadillac Kiosk at Park in 2009, Kingsbury bridge and stairs in 2010, Kingsbury Eagle Scout kiosk and 3 preserve Leopold benches plus Thayer sign in 2011, and Van Riper sign, Kadillac Kiosk, and trail in 2012. And finally, I have immensely enjoyed building Leopold benches for the Leopold Society silent auction in 2013-14.
Since 2012 I have been fortunate to serve on the Preserve Management Committee. In addition to learning more about what goes on behind the scenes at the Land Trust, I have learned a great deal from some amazing fellow committee members.
How long have you been involved as a volunteer?
I first became aware of the Land Trust in 2002 when we purchased our waterfall house in Ithaca and expanded our waterfall hikes beyond the Rochester region into Ithaca. A small sign at Lick Brook got me interested in the Land Trust. I think I have been a member since 2003 and started volunteering for some of Betsy Darlington’s garlic mustard pulls shortly after that.
Why do you volunteer?
I believe in the mission of the FLLT. My early experiences at Lick Brook were an important part in my decision to move to Ithaca. I have seen some amazing natural places that have been lost forever to development and by seeing what we have protected, I can also imagine what we have lost. I think that volunteers are an important part of this process since we not only get some of the work done, but we also form a community that cares about the mission. I also volunteer because I enjoy working in the woods with good and knowledgeable people.
What’s your favorite FLLT activity and/or preserve, and why?
The Lindsay-Parsons beaver dam drain was an amazing project, involving about 25 people, 4 different agencies, a lot of planning, preparation and coordination, and it was a great success. The Bock-Harvey Forest Preserve was also a wonderful project spanning almost two years and resulting in a 3-way partnership of the Land Trust, the Cayuga Trails Club, and the Finger Lakes Trail Conference to continue the nearly 200 year long stewardship of this property.
Anything else you want to add?
I believe that the work I have done with the Land Trust has enabled me to honor the memory of my parents, Robert E. Hopkins and Barbara Barnes Hopkins, who introduced me to nature and conservation.