Nicholas Jones, the founder of the Williams County Wilderness Clean Up Project, is looking to start something…something big.
Nicholas was born and raised in Bryan Ohio, joined the Marine Corps in 2009, lived in North Carolina for about 5 years, was medically retired after a combat deployment, and moved back to the area with his family in 2013. He started the Williams County Wilderness Clean Up Project as a way to, “…teach our young ones about conservation. The end goal of this project is to start a program for children to not only get them outside and enjoy themselves, but to teach future generations the importance of our natural resources. This program, with the help of the community, would include a club-like organization where they can learn to fish, hike, recognize threats to outdoor environments, and learn to make a change for the positive in the local area. I want to offer a program to get out again! I want to have kids fishing, hiking, hunting for edible fruits and mushrooms, learning to cook over a fire and sleep under the stars.”
Continuing, Nicholas said, “Public events such as fishing derbies and mushroom hunts would also be held, but like I stated earlier, this is an end goal. This will be a summer activity, but we will start mid-spring. I want every child to know what is feels like to try something new and challenging. The fishing derbies will be held monthly, and will be open to the public in hopes to bring in members, and to spread the word.”
Although the program is still technically on the drawing board, Nicholas already has a kickoff event in the works. “Our first event is in order to spread awareness of the project and of conservation in our county,” he said. “On March 19, 2016 at 9:30 am, we are holding a cleanup effort at George Bible Park. This is open to the public and I hope for a good turnout. The only things people need to bring are gloves, weather appropriate clothing, an adult (if under 13) and a little bit of positive motivation.
Details are still being worked out, according to Nicholas. “I am also looking for volunteers to help set the program up. We are going to need places to fish and be outdoors, so a donation in form of access to land and resources is also welcome. I’m not sure what we are going to do with the trash after we collect it. I also am trying to have hot coffee and water for the volunteers that show up to help. All aluminum cans will be collected and recycled with 100 percent of the funds returning to the project, as we are not for profit. If this project goes well, look forward to other cleanup efforts around the area. Once the club gets started, I am offering it to any agency, public or private. You allow access to your property, we will ensure that it is clean and that it stays clean. I have also started a gofundme site to help raise funds. You can donate your time, money, or anything else that will help at https://www.gofundme.com/hrnvph6c or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All funding received will go towards gear, transportation, snacks and other odds and ends needed for operation.”
“I really hope that this program takes off,” Nicholas said, adding, “…because I think it is important to get kids outside again, to teach them values and show them how beautiful it is outdoors. Please help make the dreams come true for kids around the Williams County, Ohio area.”