What's in Your Trunk?

When the Wednesday Warriors pull up to a preserve, we pop open our trunks, and amazing things appear. 

Guest writer, Kristi Chapman
Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy Volunteer

When we volunteer for Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, we are privileged to see a lot of different preserves needing all kinds of habitat restoration. So we need all kinds of gear, depending on the job at hand, and our own personal passions/tastes.

A proper lady never goes without her hat and gloves.

Some Warriors are specialists, with bags for collecting seeds in season. Some are really into gear, engineering a perfect 3D-printed herbicide applicator.

Home designed, 3D printed Herbi-roller. Patent pending!
Home designed, 3D printed Herbi-roller holster with custom SWMLC label.
Putting the Herbi-roller and holster together. Voila!

We even have a hospitality specialist who dazzles us with hot chocolate at the end of a snowy workday. 

After workday trunk-top hospitality center.

My favorite is the chainsaw brigade, a growing cadre of enthusiasts who bring their own assortment of blade sizes, fuel choices, and all the accoutrements. Joe brings a sled to haul all his gear.

My other favorite is the new person who shows up with a whole trunk full of well-used gear, ready for action. No orientation or training required.

And then there are the botanical enthusiasts who have replaced their backpacks full of field guides with apps on their phone. They can steer the rest of us on whether a leafless tree is friend or foe as we clear the understory on a winter day. 

You know it's getting serious when the pulaski comes out!

I seem to be famous for all the duct tape I keep applying to my favorite jacket after emerging from a multiflora rose thicket with a new battle scar.

Boots for all four seasons.
Get-outta-jail saw.

We bring buckets, loppers, pruners, hedge trimmers, holsters, floppy hats, chaps, bug spray, knee-high rubber boots, heavy gloves, and enthusiasm! You might also find a hand saw, daypack, flagging tape, water bottle, trash bags, extra work gloves, cell phone, snack bars, hand lens, bandanna, a change of clothes, a pack or two of toe warmers. And a cup, for post-workday gathering.

We don’t greet someone with “what’s your sign?” but rather, “where did you get those loppers?”

Rose Whackers

If your trunk looks a little empty, why don’t you throw in a pair of work gloves, and join us some Wednesday? We also have a spin-off group that works on Mondays. Email SWMLC to get on our mailing list or check out our webpage on the SWMLC website for details. Attendance is week-by-week as your schedule permits.

And, about all that other gear – don’t worry, it’ll just happen.

Just some stuff that could come in handy.
A note from Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy:
We just can’t say enough good things about the awesome stewardship volunteers of the Wednesday Warriors; spin-off group, the Monday Privateers; and seasonal seed collectors/planters, the Pluggers! With skill, intelligence, enthusiasm, and grit, these folks have made huge strides in restoring habitat at many SWMLC preserves. There’s no way that our small staff could accomplish all the important work that these volunteers have done. THANK YOU!
Photos courtesy of the Wednesday Warriors and Monday/Friday Privateers
This article first appeared in the February 2023 issue of Southwest Michigan Spark magazine. Reposted with permission.