Mashomack Preserve needs you; Visitor Center coordinator seeks volunteers

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Hiking in Mashomack.

Hiking in Mashomack.

Got some time on your hands? Interested in meeting new people whom you will find you have a lot in common? Or maybe you’re a recently retired couple who moved full-time to Shelter Island and find adjusting to 24-7 togetherness needs some interaction with other people and activities.

Whatever your circumstances, if you value the beauty of the Island and want to learn more about it or share your knowledge of nature with others, Tom Damiani has a proposal for you.

Mashomack Preserve’s Visitor Center coordinator, Mr. Damiani is looking for volunteers, to serve as greeters, assisting with educational programs, providing office support or helping with trail maintenance.
Mashomack is offering the opportunity as part of  National Volunteer Week, running from April 15 through 21.

But if you miss that week, he’ll also be welcoming those interested in volunteering at Mashomack’s Visitors Center during an orientation on Saturday, May 5, at noon.

This is an opportunity “to celebrate the spirit of volunteerism” honoring those who have dedicated themselves to making a difference in the lives of others, he said.

Mr. Damiani knows of what he speaks. In addition to his job at Mashomack, he started his efforts as a volunteer on the Shepaug Dam Eagle Project in Connecticut in 1985 and he continues to volunteer on the North Fork Audubon Society’s Board of Directors.

“Being a volunteer helps me appreciate the dedication one brings to an unpaid position,” Mr. Damiani said.

If you’re not sure of your schedule and whether you can commit to a specific time period at Mashomack each week. Mr. Damiani said he’ll work with you on timing. If your schedule is too erratic, he can use you as a backup to step in and cover a shift for someone else who can’t make it at the last minute.

In years past, many of the volunteers were students, but today there is a mix of students and adults who volunteer time at Mashomack. Mr. Damiani’s immediate goal is to add four new volunteers to fill open slots to join his current crew of 25.

Whatever your schedule, if you have interest in nature and the beauty at Mashomack, give Mr. Damiani a call at (631) 749 4219.