Kelly, Gary, Heidi and Jack Dumas began volunteering with LTC in summer 2015.
Written by Kelly Dumas, 2017
We joined LTC shortly after moving to northern Michigan from Massachusetts seven years ago and have been volunteering with Little Traverse Conservancy for the last two years. It really was a draw to the area to see such a well established group actively working on growing and protecting the natural beauty of the region and educating us all in the process. We are in our second year monitoring frog calls at five LTC sites in Pellston and we also monitor an American kestrel nest box on a nature preserve within walking distance of our house, though the box has only been up for two years and so far no one has moved in.
We have tried to instill an appreciation for nature in our kids from very young ages and access to so many beautiful, mapped preserves has helped tremendously. When Jack was two and Heidi six they could name over 60 birds from just their calls using the Wild Republic Audubon birds. We have a pillow case full of them and while the bird was still hidden, we would squeeze the bird and they would race to be the first one to name the correct species. So when I saw LTC was looking for people to monitor frog calls it was a perfect fit. Cacia has been a wonderful intermediary trying to match the right volunteer opportunities to the right volunteers and has made it as easy as possible to help LTC achieve its goals. We are still very amateur at our frog calls, but we are in it for the long haul! The kids have a hard time staying awake for the actual monitoring since they’ve gone to bed at 8pm their entire lives and the calls need to be done at sunset so we practice identifying the calls at other spots, including our property, during the day.
Thanks to Chuck Robbins for getting such lovely pictures for us all the time and the Robbins family for joining us on our LTC hikes!