Congratulations to our 2015 Volunteer of the Year, Ann Marie Dori, for her continuous dedication to improving her community through environmental cleanups and helping families and animals in need. She spent 191 hours volunteering in 2015 and also encouraged friends to join her, totaling an additional 105 volunteer hours for the year. Read more about Ann Marie’s efforts here.
Congratulations to our Volunteer of the 4th Quarter, Wes Allen! Wes exemplified the values of The SOLution during his 47 hours of volunteering throughout the year. He exceeded his goal of quarterly volunteering at the local food bank and continues to participate in environmentally-focused events to improve the waterways in his home state of Delaware.
2015 was a record-breaking year for The SOLution. We recorded 1,453 hours of volunteering, donated $38,825, supported over 7,600 families, participated in trash clean ups which collected 37,137 pounds of trash, recycled 13,030 plastic containers and an additional 524 cubic yards of cardboard, plastics and paper, and helped 291 dogs and cats find their forever homes.
Through our HOLiday Cheer program, we deliver games, toys and art supplies to children who have been diagnosed with cancer at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, in Norfolk, VA. We also “adopted” two families that showed a need for additional support during a difficult time. Our 2015 donations totaled $5,000.
SOLitude’s Northern Virginia team volunteered with Food for Others’ at their Fairfax location. The dedicated team spent four hours packing meals for underprivileged area elementary school students that are participating in the Power Pack Program, which provides supplemental food for the weekend.
Environmental Scientist, Wes Allen, and Certified Lake Manager, Jason Luce, volunteered with the DNREC for the Wineberry Weed Out at Woodland Beach, DE. Wineberry is an invasive plant that outcompetes native understory vegetation. After hand pulling Wineberry from this site for five consecutive years, the density has been greatly reduced, opening the habitat for native species.
The Hampton Roads team gathered to help the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank in Hampton, VA with their Backpack Program, which provides children in low income communities with healthy nutritious food to take home on the weekends and holidays. The team worked diligently to pack 700 bags of food for children at 14 area schools.
Through our Little GOBBLERs program, SOLitude donated $3,255 in turkeys and grocery store gift cards to 163 under resourced families to enhance their Thanksgiving celebration. Fourteen elementary, middle and high schools identified a need for Thanksgiving meal donations within their schools and received donations.
Environmental Scientists Hunter Poland and David Riedl volunteered for the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District’s Watershed Day at Graves Mountain Lodge. Designed to teach children how land use activities in the watershed affect water quality in our rivers and streams, Dave and Hunter helped with chemical and biological testing.
Ann Marie Dori, Marketing Project Coordinator, was joined by several friends and neighbors to help Lynnhaven River NOW with their monthly river cleanup in Virginia Beach. The group worked for three hours collecting 700 pounds of trash and debris from the river banks and surrounding area.
Aquatic Ecologist and Territory Leader, Shannon Junior, along with her husband, Ian, put on their annual Dog Dayz Chili Cook-Off fundraiser to benefit the Madison County Animal Shelter. The event was held at Prince Michel Winery in Leon, VA, and included a silent action, cook-off and adoptable animals.
Congratulations to Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist, Aaron Cushing, for being named SOLitude’s Volunteer of the 3rd Quarter! Aaron's passion for being a good steward of the environment and our natural resources shines through whether he is volunteering with a non-profit or working with a SOLitude client. Learn more here.
At the beginning of the school year, Executive Assistant, Sharon Delaney, committed to volunteering once a week to work with children in the Virginia Beach public school system’s literacy program. She enjoys tutoring, inspiring and encouraging the students to meet their goals.
Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist, Aaron Cushing's latest SOLution initiative is helping his church in Charlottesville, VA, maintain and improve a rain garden they installed last summer, to help catch and filter the stormwater runoff from the parking lot before it flows into the nearby creek.
Marketing Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori and friends volunteered at the Hampton Roads Sustainable Living Expo, an event designed to encourage people to explore the balance between social, economic and environmental responsibility. The ladies enjoyed helping at the face painting station and the Lynnhaven River NOW merchandise booth.
The Delaware Team participated in the 2015 Delaware Coastal Cleanup, along with one team member’s daughters and friends. They worked diligently to remove trash around Portsville Pond on Broad Creek in Sussex County, DE. The group estimates they removed 200 lbs of trash and recyclables from the roadside and surrounding wildlife area.
Aaron Cushing, Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist, volunteered, along with his wife, Lisa, to lead another group participating in a Rivanna Conservation Society cleanup. Together with the University of Virginia Running Club, the dedicated group worked for two hours to remove 40 bags of trash, 2 bikes and a giant spool from their target area.
The Delaware team volunteered with the Food Bank of Delaware in Milford. The group sorting several tons of food into categories for proper distribution along with packing coolers and snacks for senior and after school programs. Way to go team!
Marketing and Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori , continues to perform weekly trash clean ups of her Norfolk, VA neighborhood, which is surrounded by water. On average, she collects 3 bags of trash from the streets and shoreline during each two-hour outing.
Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist, Aaron Cushing, and his wife, Lisa, helped coordinate a Rivanna Conservation Society trash cleanup with the Albemarle County High School Key Club. The group worked to collect 10 bags of garbage, a shopping cart and a tire from a stretch of the Rivanna River.
The Delaware Team signed up again to assist with the annual Dogfish Dash event in Milton, DE, which benefits the Nature Conservancy’s vital environmental programs. The team helped with the water stations and direction stations on the course.
Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist, Aaron Cushing, volunteered in Charlottesville to lead a group of 8 University of Virginia students in a Rivanna Conservation Society cleanup along the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir. In just four hours, the dedicated group filled 15 lawn-size trash bags.
Aquatic Ecologist, Shannon Junior continues to dedicate her time to taking adoptable animals from the Madison County, VA animal shelter to PetSmart, increasing their chances of finding a forever home. Shannon also creates and sells tie-dyed t-shirts and dog bandannas to raise money for the shelter's spay/neuter fund: Dog Dayz Dyes Etsy shop.
Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist, Aaron Cushing, volunteered in Charlottesville, VA at a Five After Five Concert event. The funds raised from the beer booth at this popular event will support the Rivanna Conservation Society’s vital programs, which are designed to protect the Rivanna River and educate the public about the watershed.
Executive Assistant, Sharon Delaney, volunteered along with her husband, children, sister, niece and nephew for Surfers Healing - Virginia Beach Camp’s annual event in Virginia Beach, VA, which focuses on exposing children with autism to the experience of surfing. The dedicated family manned the t-shirt booth and helped to break down at the end of the day.
Aquatic Ecologist Shannon Junior and her husband Ian volunteered again with the Rappahannock County Kestrel Nestling Survey and Banding Project. They visited kestrel nesting boxes to outfit the chicks with leg bands, which will help track the migration patterns and reproductive habits of the birds.
Business Manager, Trina Duncan, a longtime volunteer with the VA Beach SPCA, recently began helping at their new retail store and adoption center. She enjoys taking the dogs for walks, grooming the cats, cleaning cages and giving them lots of love!
Aaron Cushing, Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist, along with his wife Lisa, always jump at the chance to help the Rivanna Conservation Society in Charlottesville, VA with an environmental cleanup. The duo joined a group of new law students from the University of Virginia and removed trash and debris from a riverside trail.
Aquatic Ecologist, Shannon Junior and Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist, Aaron Cushing, volunteered along with their spouses for the Dog Days of Summer event at DuCard Vineyards in Etland, VA. They raised over $1,000 for the Madison County Animal Shelter spay/neuter fund and found a forever home for a lucky redbone coonhound named Red!
Congratulations to Greg Blackham for being named SOLitude’s Volunteer for the Quarter for the second quarter of 2015! Greg and his family dedicate their time to improving the parks and shorelines in their Delaware community, as well as helping underprivileged families. So far this year, Greg has logged 24 personal volunteering hours and 39 hours contributed by family and friends.
Executive Assistant, Sharon Delaney, volunteered to photograph families and special needs children participating in the Virginia Beach Special Olympics Stand Up Paddle event. This event emphasizes the importance of water safety, in order to prevent injuries and fatalities associated with the inability to swim.
Kevin Tucker’s wife, Jennifer and children Emma, Brody and Jake spent 3 hours helping the JCOC Food Kitchen in Virginia Beach. They unloaded trucks filled with donations from local grocery stores, stocked shelves, put together food boxes for families and helped prepare lunch for JCOC residents, employees and community workers.
Marketing Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori has had her hands full during her weekly volunteering shift at the Virginia Beach SPCA cat adoption center inside PetSmart. At the peak of kitten season, the adoption center has been bustling with multiple litters of adorable kittens looking for the perfect forever home.
Business Manager, Trina Duncan and her husband Bobby joined Marketing Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori and friends for a Surfrider Foundation beach cleanup in the Ocean View area of Norfolk, VA. The group worked for 2 hours to clean trash, debris and cigarette butts from a busy stretch of beach along the Chesapeake Bay.
The SOLution is contagious! John Finguerra from vendor partner, On Call Telecom, volunteered along with a team of high school students from Virginia Beach to assist the West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy & Workcamps with their valuable programs.
Business Manager, Trina Duncan, volunteered with the Virginia Beach SPCA for a dog adoption event at Whole Foods. They showcased adoptable dogs and took donations to assist with the SPCA’s much needed programs.
SOLitude’s Delaware Team volunteered for the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays trash cleanup in Rehoboth Beach. With 9 boats and over 200 volunteer hours, the group of 60 volunteers collected approximately 1,000 pounds of trash from the Rehoboth and Indian River Bays.
Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, continues to conduct independent trash cleanups every weekend in her Norfolk, VA neighborhood along the Chesapeake Bay. During the first half of the year, Ann Marie estimates that she prevented 900 pounds of trash from ending up in the Bay.
SOLitude’s Virginia Beach team joined forces with the residents and staff of Linkhorn Bay Apartments for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 27th annual Clean the Bay Day. The group worked to gather 1,340 pounds of trash and debris from the community grounds and shoreline of Linkhorn Bay, which feeds into the Chesapeake Bay.
Fisheries Biologist, Aaron Cushing, and his wife Lisa volunteered for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 27th annual Clean the Bay Day in Charlottesville, VA. They joined a group of local volunteers to clean a 2 mile stretch of the Rivanna River, preventing over 200 pounds of trash from making its way to the Bay.
Ecologist, Shannon Junior, participated as a judge at the 2015 Virginia Area II Envirothon competition at the Fauquier Education Farm in Warrenton, VA. Envirothon is a national natural resources competition for high school students who learn environmental management and stewardship strategies and work to solve real and hypothetical environmental problems.
Environmental Scientist, Wes Allen, volunteered to assist with the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve’s Horseshoe Crab Survey. He walked North Bowers Beach in Delaware right after high-tide to collect data on the numbers of male and female horseshoe crabs spawning. The data collected is used to determine management strategies for the population.
The northern Virginia team volunteered as mentors for the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA. Seventy-five 6th graders visited the Rose River for a day of hands-on environmental learning. The program is designed help students develop a sense of environmental ethics and stewardship through participation in the collection of stream macroinvertebrates, physical and chemical stream data and plant identification.
Forestry Biologist, Brad Harris, and Fisheries Biologist, Jeremy Haley, volunteered at the Waterford Regatta in Leland, NC. They discussed pond management strategies that are available to enhance the use of their waterbodies to their full potential and took interested residents for an electrofishing demonstration.
Marketing Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, volunteered with Surfrider Foundation to do a beach clean-up at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront resort area. The group worked for 2 hours, collecting a great deal of small trash items such as cigarette butts, bottle tops and plastics.
The northern Virginia and Charlottesville teams joined forces to volunteer for the annual Family & Youth Casting Call event in Washington, DC. The team stocked fish for the event, helped take bass and catfish off of hooks, taught children how to fish, and set up and broke down tables and chairs.
Kim Niesel, Director of Business Development & Client Relations, volunteered along with her daughter Gillian, for the March of Dimes March for Babies event held in Newport News, VA. The duo helped count donations turned in by the walkers, which will support the organization’s mission to fund research and help moms have full-term pregnancies.
Kevin Tucker, President of SOLitude Lake Management, volunteered his time to help mentor emerging business leaders at his alma mater, James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Kevin spoke to the JMU Society of Entrepreneurs and gave a presentation to participants in the Net Impact program.
The Delaware Team volunteered at the Food Bank of Delaware in Milford, DE. They helped with a spring cleaning of the coolers used to pack milk and snacks for after school and food supplement programs, as well as packing coolers. They also filled 3.5 pallets worth of supplemental food boxes for their nutrition program for seniors.
The northern VA Team volunteered with the John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District and Save Our Streams. They performed water quality monitoring at the Fauquier Education Farm in Warrenton, VA, sampling benthic macroinvertebrates. The information gathered will be used to determine stream health in VA.
In honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day, SOLitude partnered with the National Forest Foundation to plant two trees for every new social media follower in the month of April. We are delighted to announce that thanks to the support of our new followers, we planted 200 trees!
Congratulations to Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori for being named The SOLution Volunteer of the Quarter. In addition to participating in SOLitude team volunteering events, Ann Marie dedicates her time to saving animals and preserving the environment, logging over 70 hours in the first quarter!
Six employees and ten family members of the Delaware Team celebrated Earth Day by participating in the Brandywine Valley Association's Annual Creek Clean-up in Downingtown, PA. The team split into groups, performing a canoe cleanup and a roadside clean up. There were a total of 200 event participants, who worked to gather 2.8 tons of trash, debris, tarps, tires, shopping carts, bottles, cans and a variety of litter!
The Virginia Beach team, along with friends and significant others, participated in an Earth Day trash clean up with Surfrider Foundation at Lake Holly at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The group worked to collect 242 pounds of trash from the banks of the lake and streets surrounding the area.
Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, continues to honor her commitment to volunteer once a week at the Virginia Beach SPCA’s satellite cat adoption center at PetSmart. In addition to cleaning cages, entertaining the residents and screening potential adoptive families, she also photographs and uploads photos of new cats to the SPCA web site, increasing their chances of finding the perfect forever home.
Executive Assistant, Sharon Delaney, volunteered with her family to support the 10th Annual Autism Society 5K and Fun Run in Virginia Beach, VA. The evening before the event, Sharon and her sister prepared snacks for the event and the day of the event, they handed out food and drinks, took video of the runners and handed out medals.
Marketing Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, volunteered along with her husband, neighbors and friends to do a community wide clean-up on Keep Norfolk Beautiful Day. Over 100 volunteers worked for 3 hours, gathering enough trash to fill 196 lawn sized trash bags and pulled 800 pounds of debris from Pretty Lake, which feeds into the Chesapeake Bay.
Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist, Aaron Cushing, and his wife Lisa, volunteered to help the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Charlottesville, VA with a food drive. A group of volunteers collected the food at various area grocery stores, and the Cushings gathered the donations from each store and delivered them to the food pantry.
The Delaware Team celebrated Earth Day by volunteering to clean up the Augustine Creek Wildlife Area, a site that was recently acquired by the DE Department of Fish & Wildlife. The group gathered 4 tons of trash, tires and building materials, along with removing invasive garlic mustard plants.
Lead Fisheries Biologist, David Beasley, volunteered at the Graves Mountain Lodge Heritage Day in Syria, VA. It was a fun-filled day helping educate kids about fishing and the environment.
Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, and several friends joined Lynnhaven River NOW for their monthly trash clean up in Virginia Beach. The group worked alongside a large group of dedicated volunteers, removing 840 pounds of trash, tires, old shopping carts and bikes from a section of the river, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay.
Executive Assistant, Sharon Delaney, volunteered to assist with Arts Inclusion Company’s production of Seussical the Musical in Virginia Beach, which offers an inclusive environment for special needs children to learn valuable skills like creative expression and interpersonal skills. Sharon dedicated 14 hours to making scarves for the entire cast and manned the popcorn stand along with her son, Jackson, during one of the productions.
Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, continues to volunteer at least an hour of time once a week to gather trash from the shoreline and streets of her Norfolk, VA neighborhood on the Chesapeake Bay. She has prevented a great deal of trash from making its way into the water and has inspired friends and neighbors to get involved as well!
The Delaware team participated again in the DE Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s annual beach grass planting event. They planted 2,600 stems of Cape American Beach Grass along the north side of Indian River Inlet in DE Seashore State Park, which will stabilize the shifting sands, protecting the dunes from wind and water erosion.
The Hampton Roads Team is proud to serve the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank in Hampton, VA once a month during the colder months. On a recent visit, the group packed 635 bags of food for underprivileged children at 8 area elementary schools.
Fisheries Biologist, Aaron Cushing and his wife Lisa volunteered with the Rivanna Conservation Society in Charlottesville, VA. They worked with several UVA students along the river below the south fork of the Rivanna River Reservoir, gathering enough trash to fill the back of a pick-up truck.
The Delaware Team volunteered to help the DuPont Nature Center in Slaughter Beach prepare for its spring opening on April 1st. They cleaned and organized the center, prepared educational exhibits, and got the fish tanks, pumps and filters up and running.
Fisheries Scientist, Ross Dion, dedicated a week to volunteering with his church group in Lavallette and Manahawkin, NJ, helping to rebuild homes affected by Hurricane Sandy. The group worked five 8 hour days on a variety of tasks, including removing old insulation and duct work, hanging plywood and setting posts for a deck.
Business Manager, Trina Duncan, showed a lot of love for homeless dogs by spending Valentine’s Day volunteering with the Virginia Beach SPCA. She took several dogs to PetSmart to promote their special $14 adoption fee in honor of the holiday, and to give them more exposure to potential adoptive families.
Ann Marie Dori, Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, continues to spend time each weekend gathering trash from the shoreline and streets in her neighborhood along the Chesapeake Bay. She has recently invested in a “trash buggy” that will increase her efficiency and enable her to separate trash from recyclables on the fly.
The Delaware team dedicated a morning to helping the Milford Food Bank prepare over 1200 snacks for school programs and 46 emergency food boxes that can sustain a family in crisis for a week.
Marketing Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, and several friends joined Lynnhaven River NOW for their first trash pick-up the year in Virginia Beach. The group worked diligently despite the frigid temperatures and collected 750 pounds of trash from the river bank and surrounding areas.
Aquatic Ecologist and 2014 Volunteer of the Year, Shannon Junior, continues to spend almost every Saturday taking adoptable dogs from the rural Madison County Animal Shelter to PetSmart in Culpeper, Virginia, to increase their chances of finding a forever home.
The Hampton Roads, VA SOLitude Team was hard at work again this month, helping The Virginia Peninsula Foodbank prepare 700 bags of food for children in need at 5 area schools. Check out this fun time-lapsed video of our time at the Foodbank.
Aquatic Ecologist, Shannon Junior and her husband Ian, spent a day volunteering with a U.S. Geological Survey Master Bander in Faquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock counties in Virginia. They assisted with catching, weighing, measuring and banding Red Shouldered Hawks and American Kestrels. The data collected will used for research on the life span and seasonal movements of the birds.
Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, enjoys her regular Monday night volunteering with the Virginia Beach SPCA‘s satellite cat adoption center at the PetSmart. She socializes with kitties, cleans cages and screens adoptive families.
Environmental Scientist, David Riedl, volunteered with the Alexandria, VA chapter of Habitat for Humanity, spending almost an entire day helping to install shoe base molding in a new home for a family in need. He plans to assist with building projects throughout the winter months.
Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, continues to spend at least one hour a week cleaning up the streets and shoreline in her Norfolk, VA neighborhood on the Chesapeake Bay. Each week, she collects 2 to 3 tall kitchen-sized trash bags full of bottles, cans, bags, and more.
Contact us to learn about our upcoming volunteering opportunities and how you can get involved.
In support of our belief that lakes and ponds are a precious natural resource requiring protection, SOLitude is committed to providing sustainable and renewable solutions that maintain ecological balance in the workplace and beyond.
When you partner with SOLitude, a dedicated field technician visits your lake or pond twice a month, leveraging extensive knowledge and training to carefully maintain ecological balance and preserve the appearance of your aquatic property.
Utilizing the latest GPS aquatic mapping technology and our own proprietary lake and pond management software, the experts at SOLitude collect all the data necessary to provide comprehensive analysis and in-depth solutions.