Volunteers play a huge role in helping the James River Association achieve its mission. Much of our work would not be possible without the knowledge and dedication of our volunteers. Whether it is a trash cleanup, water quality testing, invasive species management, restoration plantings or help with office tasks, volunteers give us a direct connection to the diverse communities we work with throughout the watershed.

Meet Kalia Fusco, James River Association volunteer and Liberty University student. Originally from Washington state, Kalia has spent the last four years making the Lynchburg area her home. She began volunteering with the James River Association while looking for ways to get involved in her community and get outside.

Kalia volunteered to plant trees for multiple days of our 2018 Tree-Athlon, a partnership between the James River Association and the Robert E Lee and Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation Districts to plant 3,000 trees at farms along various tributaries of the James. Many of the farms have also installed cattle exclusion fencing to keep cows out of our waterways, which reduces sediment and bacteria from entering the James River and keeps the cows healthy and safe. Kalia is one of almost 100 volunteers that joined us to plant trees this spring!

Kalia enjoys volunteering because it gives you an opportunity to connect with others in the community who share a love for nature and make new friends. It is a great way to explore the area. She would encourage others to volunteer because it is a great way to learn new skills and spend time outside. It’s also a great opportunity to learn more about the natural world while at the same time caring for it in a way that directly benefits the community.

When not working towards her Interdisciplinary Studies major with areas of study in Chinese, Linguistics, and Global Studies, she enjoys photography, jewelry making, and leather working.

Thanks for all of your help this spring, Kalia! We couldn’t do what we do without volunteers like you. Interested in volunteering? Visit our website or e-mail our Volunteer Coordinator, Sophie Stern, at sstern@jrava.org.