Loving what they do

October 2001

What makes a grassroots environmental group a success? Fund-raising? Teamwork? Leadership? All of these elements contribute mightily to success, but in this issue, we talked with people who had something special to offer—passion. And it was passion at full-throttle. They brimmed with enthusiasm for loggerhead turtles, rocky prairies, and bogs in odd places. Long hours and shoestring budgets did not deter them. Their love for what they were doing renewed them and strengthened their resolve to get the job done.

Each one expressed that passion in his own way.

Some spoke slowly and methodically, but warmed to their subjects until they were virtually sending electricity across the phone wires as they talked about searching in the tallgrass on hands and knees for the tiniest flowers or watching a sunset spread its last rays across a South Dakota prairie.

Others accelerated quickly to a torrent of words about the stunning colors of carnivorous plants and the urgency of finding the unknown bogs that harbor these rare beauties. And, because they cared so much, I found that I cared too, just as bog expert Phil Sheridan predicted. I was ready to hop on the next flight east to see one of his purple pitcher plants in all its glory.

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