Van CoffeyWild South could not successfully fulfill our mission without the dedicated service of volunteers. We take pride in our volunteers and spotlight them accordingly.

This month we want to especially thank Van Coffey for her continued support through her dedicated volunteer service. Van came to us last spring as a Volunteer Preserve Ranger for Ruffner Mountain and Turkey Creek Nature Preserves. Van jumped in and with an enthusiastic spirit volunteered a few days a week pulling privet, engaging with the public, and stewarding the land. Braving hot summer days at Turkey Creek, she has been a tremendous asset to our program.

In addition, Van attended several workshops on tree identification, wilderness education, and invasive species, to name a few. By the end of the year, Van had volunteered nearly 80 hours of her time. She is an amazing person who is an inspiration to all of us at Wild South.

When not slinging drinks and serving food at Birmingham’s Rojo, Van prefers to be outside with her dogs and her partner, Belinda. They travel the state and beyond, enjoying the great outdoors and sharing these experiences with everyone. Van says that joining the Volunteer Ranger Program has allowed her to give back to the places she and her family enjoy.

“Protecting our natural resources so that future generations may have the opportunity to experience the transcendent through the peace and connection nature provides, exposing people to the limitless possibilities of sound and music, and personally, to express and engage with the feminine aspects of self… these are, for some reason, what I find worthy of sharing and experiencing with others,” says Van. “I might lose friends, money, job opportunities….but if this is our only ride on this planet, then you better live it your way.”

Van has expanded her service to public lands through training as a Volunteer Wilderness Ranger through Wild South’s Volunteer Wilderness Ranger program. We look forward to continuing to work with Van and watching her grow with the Wild South family.

Thank you for your service and support, Van!