Volunteer Highlight: Ron Fandrei

“I knew it was an area that needed to be preserved and protected.”

Lives in: Ellison Bay

Profession: Retired, previously delivered gas for Ferrellgas

Number of years in Door County: Born and raised in the county, I live on my family farm, which was built in 1870.

Started volunteering: Started volunteering with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in 1985, specifically working on the Mink River Preserve

Areas of interest: Hands-on work, maintenance and reporting

Volunteer accomplishments: Provides trail maintenance, helped create parking areas at preserve trailheads and keeps an eye out for invasive species to report to TNC

Why he began volunteering, and why he continues: A family affair. My uncle was the caretaker of the property before TNC. With my deep-rooted knowledge of the land and enjoyment of the work, I approached TNC about taking up the mantle of “watchdog.” I knew it was an area that needed to be preserved and protected. 

What he’s gained from volunteering: Knowing that the hard work you have put in has resulted in land preservation.

Favorite volunteering moment: When TNC acquired property that connected the preserve to the west boundary of Newport State Park. A cabin on the property was cleaned out and made into a research cabin.

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