Our Volunteer Spotlight usually features individual volunteers who have gone above and beyond to support the organization and the park. But every once in a while, we take note when an entire family is passionately and consistently involved and supportive of the mission. No, we’re not talking about the patient and dedicated families of the staff and board (although we’re thankful for them). We’re not talking about families who decide to drop in on a trail service day in the name of weekend togetherness (although we’re also super thankful for them, too). We’re talking about when every last member of the family is a regular and deeply involved volunteer. Previously, we’ve featured the Bells, and this month we’re featuring the Olivieris:
Names: Kim, Stephen, Andrew, and Lydia Olivieri
Involved Since: 2013
Professions: Stephen is a lieutenant at the Medford Fire Department, and Kim is a nurse educator at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Andrew is a freshman at Medford High School, and Lydia is an eighth grader at Andrews Middle School.
Stephen: “I love hiking in the Fells. Sometimes I have the opportunity to get out there during a weekday and feel like I have the place to myself. It’s a tremendous–and often under-appreciated–resource we have here north of Boston. You could walk for years in the Fells and still find new areas to explore. Volunteering for the Friends of the Fells gives me a chance to give something back to this organization that has done so much to preserve this treasure, and it gives me a chance to meet some great people.”
Kim: “We have always considered the Fells an extension of our back yard. We first began hiking in the Fells with the Babes in the Woods program when the kids were small. As they grew, we spent more time exploring on our own but especially enjoyed Panther Cave and Wright’s and Bear Hill Towers. My first volunteer experience with the Friends of the Fells was in 2014 when my Girl Scout Troop earned its Bronze Award organizing a clean-up of the area surrounding Wright’s Tower. We have since partnered in other capacities, most recently helping with the Crystal Spring Restoration. We plan to continue to be part of Fells restoration work, including an upcoming focus on the 90mm site near Lawrence Woods.”
Andrew: “I am a Freshman at Medford High School and run on the cross-country team–the Fells is our favorite place to run. I have always enjoyed hiking and running in the Fells. I’ve helped out at various events from clean-up days to handing out T-shirts and bibs at the Fall for the Fells Trail Race.”
Lydia: “Some of my earliest memories take place in the Fells–climbing Wright’s Tower or crawling through the tiny passages of Panther Cave. So when I needed volunteer hours for National Junior Honor Society, I chose Friends of the Fells. We’re so grateful to be able to hike in these beautiful woods within walking distance of our house.”
The Olivieris have helped in various ways not mentioned, as well. Lydia is a talented writer, and her coyote article is timely this season. Andrew is a skilled photographer, and the entire family helps with publicity and outreach, in addition to everything else mentioned above. Additionally, they are amongst the volunteers who pro-actively check in to see what we need at any given moment before we even get a chance to ask them. This is much appreciated! We love how their story illustrates how their involvement with our youth programming–including Babes in the Woods for the very youngest–has a proven track record for building lifelong stewards. Stay tuned for more news about how Girl Scout Troop 75198 continues to partner on habitat restoration efforts in the Fells.
What kinds of questions would you like us to ask our Spotlighters? Do you have any nominations for future volunteers to feature? Comment here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on our Facebook feed. Would you like to get more involved yourself? We have opportunities for all ages. Here’s the link: Click here to let us know how you can help.