Volunteer Corner: Shelly Harris
October 7, 2008
How many years have you volunteered for Truckee River Day? I participated as a volunteer for the first year of the event. Since then I’ve been participating every year, for 12 years as a group leader. I lived in Truckee for 23 years and that’s the way I found to give back to the community.
What does being a group leader involve?
Being a group leader involves supervising the participating volunteers, help planning the projects, organizing appliances and tools, besides doing the actual work at the day. The most important part of my work is in educating the volunteers about re-vegetation on the sites, as well as making it a fun experience for everyone involved.
Where did you obtain the experience it takes to be a group leader?
I am a landscaper and due to my profession I become more interested in revegetation projects every day. I like seeing a project successfully completed, I can be “bossy” in a constructive way, which enables me to keep people organized and perform a good job, too. I believe whoever volunteers in something they love is able to do a very god job.
What are your motivations for volunteering at Truckee River Day?
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I believe Truckee River Day is a very important part of our community, because locals can become involved in doing something positive near their homes. The Truckee Watershed is an important water source for Truckee, as well as for other communities downstream. As I usually say “water is the core of life.” Clean water is the most important asset a community can have, and we need to keep in mind that what we do affects not only our generation but future generations as well. Truckee River Day is helping control erosion and sedimentation. Revegetating areas has long-term benefits for water quality.
So, do you think Truckee River Day helps the community in ways beyond environmentally?
Yes, people come together as a community, they meet others who are also concerned with the environment, families can do something meaningful for their communities together, it’s a great opportunity to bond.
In your opinion, why is it important to volunteer in general?
Because important jobs don’t get done by themselves, “many hands make light work.” Lend a hand in your community.
You have been working for this event for many years, what are the accomplishments?
Truckee River Day has grown throughout the years and increased to an average of 500 volunteers, and several projects get done on this specific day each year.
What are some of the activities and projects that will be available for the volunteers at this year’s event?
There will be planting on eroded sites, clearing conifer slash to rehabilitate a meadow or to promote aspen growth, restoring spawning habitat for fish, and trash clean-up. There will be fun projects for all ages.
To find out more about the Truckee River Day and the Truckee River Watershed Council, visit
The event is on Oct. 19. Volunteers should register by Oct. 12 to be assigned for the different groups of projects. A Truckee River day T-shirt will be given for those who registered on this date, if you missed the registration date you may still participate as a walk-in.
” Liz Motta interviewed Shelley Harris for this week’s Volunteer Corner. Please send suggestions
for future Volunteers to