Why I volunteer: Greer Gunby on MountainTrue

Greer Gunby

Editor’s note: In the spirit of our spring Nonprofit Issue, we reached out to volunteers from several local nonprofit organizations, asking them to reflect on what inspired them to begin their work and the impact it has had on both the community and themselves. 

I’ve been volunteering with MountainTrue for over seven years now, since 2014. I responded to an email from the group in December of that year for volunteers to help with a live staking along the headwaters of the French Broad River. I don’t know how MountainTrue got my email; I didn’t know what MountainTrue was or what a live staking was, either. The weather forecast for the week looked chilly but nice, so it seemed like a good way to get out on the water for a day and learn a little about the ecology of the river.

The ecology movement really got underway in the ’60s when I was in elementary school — recycling, turning off lights, picking up litter, etc. So getting out and taking care of the environment has been a part of my life. MountainTrue has many focuses, but I’ve gravitated toward the rivers since that first day; being out paddling on the water in our area and lending a hand has been a lot of fun.

I’ve had the opportunity to pick up interesting trash on the Swannanoa, work on campsites along the French Broad paddle trail, treat hemlocks against the woolly adelgid in the Green River gorge and monitor water quality each summer. I’ve learned a lot, made some great friends and helped make the rivers a little nicer.

For more on MountainTrue, visit mountaintrue.org.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.