EMMAUS, Pa. -

The Pool Wildlife Sanctuary is 77 acres of Emmaus countryside bequeathed by Leonard Parker Pool.

What the founder of Air Products and Chemicals left behind has turned into a model of education and conservation for the Lehigh Valley.

The Wildlands Conservancy land trust runs nine preserves, encompassing close to 3,000 acres, all aimed at protecting the ecological integrity of the region. It also serves to put the community in touch with nature.

But creating community involvement takes a lot of work, like repairing a very long wooden path.

For a non-profit, volunteers like Jim Funk become the lifeblood for upholding their mission

"It started out I came to do birding. I got so much out of it, I wanted to give back," Funk said. "So I started volunteering."

Volunteers can do anything from building trails, trimming trees, even giving a canoe class.

But if the outdoors aren't your thing you can be like Rich Folajtar. He's has faithfully volunteered for ten years inside the administration building.

"There is always a lot of work," Folajtar laughed. "Being a volunteer you're always appreciated."

"It's hugely critical. Our volunteers are amazing. They allow our mission to thrive and continue in our community," Chris Kocher, president of the wildlands, said.

To volunteer you go on their website and sign up.