A Sense of Pride and Ownership

Volunteering as a family can amplify your positive impact on the environment, in the community and within yourselves. It can also give a family quality time together and the opportunity to make some great memories.

The Erb Family have found a way to connect with nature and with each other through time spent learning, playing and volunteering at The Wilderness Center (TWC).

Patty Erb and her husband, Erik both remember visiting TWC as children, and have been bringing their own children, Aidan who is now 11 and Alyssa who is now 16, since they were very small. The Erbs began volunteering together as a family in 2011 after Patty graduated from the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Program (OCVN) that June.

Leading snake walks is one of the Erb Family’s favorite activities. “Being able to share our native snakes and their habitats with children and their parents is always rewarding, and it is fun to allow visitors to be hands-on with animals they don’t normally experience,” said Patty. One little boy enjoyed the snake walk he attended so much that he held his birthday party at TWC and Patty had the honor of leading his party guests on yet another snake walk.

The combination of ages and personalities within the Erb Family give them a wide range of the qualities needed to truly make a difference as volunteers. TWC is fortunate to enjoy the benefit of their energy, creativity, passion, knowledge and experience, as well as different perspectives and skills.

In addition to leading snake walks, the Erbs have helped out at TWC’s Enchanted Forest, participated in invasive plant removal, planted trees, assisted with the native plant sale, volunteered for Herpetology Day and Shreve Migration, manned a dip-net station, assisted with monarch tagging and led holiday bird seed ornament making. The family has even taken Barnaby, the Box Turtle and TWC’s snakes, Boris, and Zea to elementary and middle schools for reptile presentations.

“TWC is a place that my family has known all their lives, and with this comes a sense of pride and ownership” said Patty and added “I always find a sense of peace and happiness in nature, there is always something new to learn and experience.”

Together as a family, connected with nature and engaging with others, Patty, Erik, Aidan and Alyssa Erb each make a valuable contribution to our community while remaining focused on the same goal of doing good.

If your family is interested in working together to protect the environment, meeting new friends, learning new skills, or simply sharing your love of nature, I invite you to give volunteering a try. The Wilderness Center would certainly be grateful for the gift of your special talents. To learn more about TWC’s volunteer opportunities, please call (330) 359-5235 or send an email to store@wildernesscenter.org.


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