By: Dan Munroe, Employer Relations Coordinator

It was a warm summer day in Door County, Wisconsin…Really warm in fact.  The plan for the day was to meet a group of volunteers at the Landmark Resort, and embark on a school bus for the Whitefish Dunes State Park to do a Greenheart Project with some participants.

Jon with CCI Greenheart staff member, Brittney White.

Jon Steifel with CCI Greenheart staff member, Brittney White.

Despite the warm temperature, the turnout for the event was still strong.  In attendance was our naturalist and fearless guide Jon Steifel, Joanne Stanzel from the Landmark Resort, my colleague Brittney White, me, and a handful of J-1 Summer Work Travel Participants who have been spending their summer working in the Door County area.  The J-1 Participants who volunteered their time represented a wide range of countries including; Bulgaria, Turkey, Japan, Jamaica, and China.

So the “Greenheart Eleven” boarded the school bus and headed to Whitefish Dunes State Park.  On the way to the park, our guide Jon the naturalist, gave us a lot of great information about what we were about to see in the park and about plants and animals that dwell in Door County.

Getting ready to start our Greenheart Project.

Getting ready to start our Greenheart Project.

The ride from Landmark to Whitefish Dunes was only 30 minutes, but upon arriving at the State Park, we quickly realized that the temperature had dropped by 20 degrees.  Our guide from the State Park, Caroline Rock, got us indoors to warm up and regroup.

After we were outfitted with warm Whitefish Dunes State Park fleeces, we went out to help repair a rock wall surrounding one of the exhibits. This meant carrying the stones from the beach, up a small cliff, and then back to the area where the exhibit was located. 

After the wall was rebuilt, the “Greenheart Eleven” crew headed to the beach to start cleaning.   Everyone chipped in and thankfully we were able to get a good section of the beach cleaned quickly, as a very large storm was rolling through. Even a bad storm couldn’t bring our spirits down.

The "Greenheart Eleven!"

The “Greenheart Eleven!”

As quickly as we had arrived at Whitefish Dunes State Park, we boarded the bus and returned to the Landmark Resort for pizza and soda pop. This gave everyone a chance to laugh and talk about how good it felt to volunteer their time….and plan out the next time that the “Greenheart Eleven” will ride again!