As part of ‘Celebrate 70’ this year, we will feature profiles of some of our amazing volunteers. You will find more Volunteer Spotlight profiles on our website, If you’d like more information about volunteering, email Cassandra Meyer-Ogren at [email protected]

Name: Richard “Dick” Conant
Age: 60 and counting
Town of Residence: Mystic (Groton side)

What’s your ‘real’ job: Retired from 33 years with the Federal Government as a marine biologist with the National Park Service, Aquatic plant biologist with the research branch of USDA, a wetland biologist with the Corps of Engineers, and finally as the Environmental Department Director at Subase. I volunteer with the Avalonia Land Conservancy, the Mystic Boy Scout Troop 2, St Patrick Church, and of course the DPNC

conant bittersweet

What do you do as a DPNC volunteer? Control of invasive species, e.g., pulling/cutting/treating such pests as Oriental bittersweet, Japanese barberry, privet, etc. Maintenance of trails, e.g., clearing downed trees/limbs, cutting back overgrowth, blazing trails and maintaining signage, and minor trail/bridge repairs/improvements

How long have you been doing it? About six years now

Why do you do it? It’s great to get outdoors and into the local woods for some fresh air and good exercise and hopefully my work fills a need for the DPNC

What’s the genesis of your wonderful support for the Nature Center? I hope all my volunteer activities are a way of giving back to the local community where I have lived and raised a family for almost 25 years now

What’s your favorite part of what you do at DPNC? Chainsaw work clearing trails and cutting bittersweet vines…Free the Trees!