Volunteer Spotlight: Bob Synk & Theresa Pawloski
Every Second Saturday, the Land Conservancy invites volunteers to help with various stewardship activities on its preserves. If you’ve attended one of these events recently, there’s a good chance you were working alongside Bob Synk and Theresa Pawloski. Bob and Theresa are frequent volunteers at LCWM’s Second Saturday Workdays.
Bob and Theresa have been supporters of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan since 2007. They became donors and volunteers after hearing about the organization’s mission from their friend, former LCWM Executive Director Peter Homeyer.
“We both enjoy most land conservation volunteer projects but working on getting rid of invasive species is the most rewarding,” Theresa said. “The Land Conservancy makes volunteering easy by having a set schedule, every second Saturday.”
Though invasive species removal is the most gratifying for the couple, they also appreciate the camaraderie and educational aspects of the events.
“We both enjoy learning more about nature and learning new skills like trail maintenance. Going outside is nice but going out in the woods with other cool people doing something productive is the best,” Bob said.
Both Bob and Theresa were born and raised in Michigan. Bob has lived in Michigan his whole life, except for two years in the Peace Corps in Lesotho, Southern Africa. Theresa grew up on her family’s 40 acres in Allen, Michigan, where at a very early age she enjoyed roaming fields, pastures, and woods and still does.
Theresa is retired after spending most of her career as a marketing administrative assistant. Bob is looking forward to retiring in early 2022 after a career in computer programming.
In addition to spending Second Saturdays on LCWM nature preserves, Bob and Theresa dedicate their time to a variety of other causes. Bob is active in the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association and Democrats for Life. Theresa volunteers at the Children’s Advocacy Center and St Mary’s Church by coordinating the Christmas Giving Tree. They both help the church’s maintenance man for a couple hours each Thursday.
But the pair make time to rest and enjoy hobbies, too.
“We wind down most evenings with card playing, Netflix and reading,” Theresa said. Gardening, traveling, and hiking are a few of their favorite activities, and one of Theresa’s favorites is an afternoon nap.
The Land Conservancy is grateful to have had Bob and Theresa’s support as both volunteers and donors for so many years. If you would like to become a volunteer, check out our Second Saturday Workdays or sign up for our quarterly Volunteer E-news to learn about other ways you can support the work of the Land Conservancy.