The 40th annual National Volunteer Week is now underway. The celebration honors individuals and organizations dedicated to giving back to the community.
The weeklong event aims to encourage others to get involved locally. In Erie County there are over 50 volunteer boards involved in everything from cultural organizations to statutory agencies.
Erie County Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Troy Schinzel says many of the projects happening in local parks would not have been possible without the help of volunteers.
“[The] Black Rock Canal Park Steering Committee, they’ve been a tremendous asset at doing a facelift of what used to be Ontario Street boat launch. They’re a dedicated group. They spend a lot of hours helping us out, raising funds, maintaining the area and assisting down there. We have the Western New York Mountain Bicycling Association. They took on the maintenance and signage of two areas where we allow mountain biking. From every kind of nook from Erie County we have people step up and assist us,” said Schinzel.
Schinzel says volunteer organizations help maintain and enhance area parks.
“They’re dedicated. They’re spending their time, their hours. We all have busy life styles and they’re dedicating a ton of time to help us meet our mission, meet our goals. In the past staffing has been an issue within parks and they filled the niche. They filled a huge niche in helping us move forward and stepping up to the plate, whether it’s maintenance aspects, etc. They really become a partner with us and work together collectively at accomplishing the same things,” said Schinzel.
National volunteer week was established in 1974. It goes from April 6-12, 2014.
For more information on how to get involved:
On the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation, & Forestry, visit: http://www2.erie.gov/parks/
On the Erie County Department of Emergency Services, visit: http://www2.erie.gov/emergencyservices/
On the Erie County Department of Senior Services, visit: http://www2.erie.gov/seniorservices/