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Why do you volunteer to participate in Project AWARE?

Camping, canoeing, great people for a week AND I get to help clean the environment? How could I not?

We want our daughter to grow up in a culture of caring/doing and be a child of nature. She is building her social skills and the AWARE community is a great place to start. We feel she has so many caregivers and gets the sense of being well received. Its just one of those great places to grow up in. We plan to bring her every year and look forward to the day she sits in the canoe with one of us and pulls her first refuse into the boat.

Two good friends working hard on Project AWAREIt's a vacation I look forward to each year.

It's very fun, challenging, and rewarding.

It's a week to get away from the routines of daily life where you can make a difference and have a great time while doing it.

To keep my granddaughter and myself connected to the outdoor and why we do "water" cleanup, testing, etc.

I learn and experience a lot about different areas of Iowa and enjoy participating in this type of community service.

I like the type of people that participate in Project AWARE. I can go paddle on any weekend and pick up trash, but this was unique because of all the different personalities that come together to help improve Iowa's water quality. We need more events, like Project AWARE, that raise awareness and get country and city folks in the great outdoors.

DNR staff is great, well-organized, lots of positive reinforcement, great climate of good vibes.

A week of such work and learning from the programs can't be beat. The support provided is unbeatable!

It has become a time to meet old friends as well as make new ones; connect to others who care about Iowa's waters.

It's a great way to make a difference. I enjoy working with people who put their heart into this effort.

It's a good way to introduce my daughter to canoeing, camping and environmental issues.

It is important that we teach our children about good habits, such as cleaning up wherever we see mess, even if it is not our own and the consequences of leaving 'one' piece of trash, multiplied by the whole population.

I want to help make public aware of watershed issues.

Great experience with great people.

It is very important work that needs to be done.

It was a great way to support our partnering agency and work together to make an impact on water quality in Iowa.

Spend time with family and friends.

Modeling for my children.

I work for a river cleanup organization in Missouri and I wanted to observe how the project was organized and conducted.

It's been fun every year!

Initially wanted to see the Maquoketa River from Backbone to the Mississippi and understand a little more about the huge amount of sediment it contributes to the Mississippi. Since that time I have not met a river I do not like.

It's a great opportunity to meet agency staff who address water quality issues and other people/paddlers who care about Iowa's rivers. Plus, you help model how to be safe on the river, educate about a wide variety of river-related issues, ways to be good river stewards and how to creatively manage trash.

My three favorite things are: spending time with my grandsons, canoeing, and picking up trash. What an opportunity! I get to do all three.

I needed a volunteer project to meet a college requirement. I had such a good time and enjoyed making a difference so much that I continue to return every year.

The others that participate year after year. I love the programs. I enjoy seeing the sculpture and feel some "ownership" of it.

We want to show our children that people care about our rivers.

Was happy to see an opportunity to have a direct impact - so often all we can do is write legislators - this way we can at least improve the visual beauty, restore things to a more natural state, and greatly improve the safety of the river!
Project AWARE is the highlight of my summer.

I enjoy the camaraderie, the camping, the paddling, and the tangible benefit of pulling out the piles of trash.

I enjoy getting to know the people on the trip, and seeing Iowa from a different perspective.

I'm always impressed at the coordination - I can't imagine considering the scale of the event, the willingness of the staff to help in any way, how well they work together, and how welcome every participant feels.

It is an exciting project - helping our waters and our people.

It was great to be with like-minded people that care about the environment and want to help make things better for the present and the future.

It was hard work but lots of fun and great people.

It's an excellent week of work, fun and fun people

It is great fun to participate in a public event whose purpose is to bring awareness to rivers and model river stewardship.

It's too much fun to miss.

When you've got a good thing going you keep it up.

Wouldn't miss it for the world!

I was pumped to see a grassroots effort - making it personal - sharing ownership of our waters - it was great to see the interior rivers of Iowa getting the same attention the Mississippi was getting!

I'd been waiting 4-5 years for the chance to be off work and get to do it!

Project Aware is a worthwhile endeavor. The public exposure is great and offshoot clean-ups are more evidence that the Project can make a difference.

This made a good and cost effective mission trip for our church.

Wanted to meet other Iowans who shared my passion and concern.
Why not? This is my first pick for my vacation!

We need to continue to raise public awareness about the quality of our rivers AND keep cleaning them up.

This year I took vacation time to be on Project Aware. This was one of the best vacations I ever took. Very rewarding and the people with the DNR and AmeriCorps were the best.

This is an event that I enjoy, but also feel it is important enough to make an effort to participate in it to continue to get the word out to make a difference. It is a big deal to me and others. It is one of those things that you do, not for recognition

It's the most exiting week of my summer. It gives me stories to tell all year long.

It's my "RAGBRAI"

It is so much fun and is like one big family

It is a well-run event that cares for every participant - excellent planning and I would say the staff go above and beyond over and over.

It is a great way to meet people who care about Iowa.

It is a great activity for our entire family - from 7 to 50 we had a good experience.

It is a family-friendly event. It brings a lot of disciplines together; camping, canoeing, and environmental stewardship.

I'd never canoed before Project AWARE, but I loved it.

I was impressed with the camaraderie of the group and the dedication of the staff.

I look forward to AWARE every year as an opportunity to connect with other people who love Iowa's rivers and are willing to roll up their sleeves and pull out the trash.

I liked the people, who were all "can do" folks, ready to help without even asking. The organization was tops, thinking always ahead to ensure the crew's safety. And I felt like I got much better informed about lots of issues from stream quality to recycling.

I had a lot of fun this year. I love the whole idea. I hope that someday there will be something similar in Nebraska (the state from which I came to Iowa to participate in AWARE).

I feel responsible to help care for the rivers I love!

I can't imagine a summer without AWARE. It's like summer camp; I get to see my friends from previous years. It's like we're a family, coming together for a good cause. It just gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, besides an exhausted and achy feeling!

I can't wait - it's the most fun I have all year!

For all the reasons I came the first time. I've never been so tired, so dirty, and so fulfilled from one event.

Can't stop now.....have made too many friends!

A great way to get paddling for those of use who don't have our own gear yet.

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Lynette Seigley