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ALERT: Botna Bend's Newly Renovated South Campground is Now Open with Full Hookup Sites.
ALERT: Full hookup camping sites are now available at Hitchcock Nature Center for $30 per night.

Volunteer Spotlight: Glenn Pollock, the Man In Plaid

Join us as we shine a light on Pottawattamie County Conservation volunteers to thank them for their time and talents and recognize the difference they make in our community. Our volunteers ROCK!

Below, take a moment to meet Pottawattamie County Conservation volunteer, Glenn:

Glenn at the Loess Hills Lodge.

How long Glenn has volunteered with us: 

Glenn has been a proud volunteer at Hitchcock Nature Center since 1991. He is one of the longest-running volunteers at the park, having shared 33 years of his time and talent (and counting!). Glenn initially heard about Hitchcock from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and came out to see what it was all about. From that visit grew a love for what the Pottawattamie County Conservation team is doing to preserve and study the Loess Hills and environmental history.

Glenn remains a very active volunteer and most recently installed an interactive display in the gallery that the public can use to view Motus Wildlife Tracking System data from migrating birds, insects, and bats that are flying through the area.

Glenn demonstrates how to use the new Motus display at Hitchcock Nature Center's Loess Hills Lodge.
Glenn demonstrates how to use the new Motus display at Hitchcock Nature Center's Loess Hills Lodge.

What he does as a volunteer:

After meeting our current Natural Resource Specialist Chad Graeve in the 1990s, Glenn began helping with prescribed fire efforts, plant surveys, educational hikes, park seminars, park programming, and equipment maintenance—radios in particular. No matter the need, Glenn made the time to be there to help.  

More recently, Glenn has been raising money and rolling up his sleeves to construct Motus tracking stations across Iowa and Nebraska, which use radio telemetry to track migrating birds, bats, and insects. So far he has played an integral role in establishing six towers in the area.

Glenn working on Motus tower.
Glenn is pictured installing the receiver for the park's Motus Wildlife Tracking System, located in the campground, in August 2022. Long-time volunteer Jerry and park neighbor Greg also played a major role in the installation of the tower.

Glenn's expertise and passion were also instrumental in the preservation of Vincent Bluff Nature Preserve in Council Bluffs.

Why he volunteers:

"People need green space to survive. The Loess Hills are a very important part of the natural world's history, as is preserving it for future generations to enjoy and study."

Glenn also shared that volunteering is a great outlet for socializing with other like-minded people and that he's made many lifelong friendships while volunteering here.  

Glenn leading a Hitch Hike in May 2022.
Glenn leading a Hitch Hike at Hitchcock Nature Center in May 2022. The hike included a private tour of McIntosh Pioneer Cemetery.

What he's learned from volunteering:

"Good and dedicated land management has helped preserve and bring back an ecosystem that may not have survived without intervention. We need to continue to let people know to be respectful of what we have here and what everyone has done to protect it."

Something interesting about Glenn:

Glenn is from Vail, Iowa where he grew up farming with his family. He has a biomedical engineering degree, holds a level four pilot's license, and is an avid HAM radio operator—he's made friends all over the world through his radio! Glenn also likes to travel and has been to Australia four times and to Europe three times.

Glenn poses for a photo with Pottawattamie Conservation staff.
A rare (and perhaps the only!) photo of Glenn not wearing plaid. Well...almost.

 

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Signs of Spring: Turkey Vultures (3/6/2024)
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