PAC relies heavily on volunteers with a strong commitment to the conservation of our precious natural resources. Volunteers can help PAC’s mission in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Serving on one of PAC’s committees– Education, Development, Land, or Finance
  • Helping with PAC Events– Creative Think-Tanking, Sponsorships, Decorating, Gathering Auction Items, Baking, Parking, Greeting, Bulk Mailing, and Micro-Managing.
  • Designing and presenting educational programs on a variety of conservation issues to civic groups, governmental bodies, and in schools in concert with the Education Committee.
  • Helping Monitor the more than fifty easements for which PAC is responsible.
  • Assisting in the PAC Office
  • Fund Raising and Sponsorship Gathering
  • Grant Research and Writing
  • Trail Maintenance (“Adopt a Trail”) and Conservation/Kudzu Eradication (click to link with the Kudzu page)
  • Native Plant Rescue

PAC has always been a grass roots volunteer-based organization. Please contact PAC if you have an interest in conservation and would like to help with anything from putting on fundraising events to the monitoring of our protected lands.

If you’d like to become a PAC volunteer, email us. We have a Volunteer Interest Form to help identify the most satisfying conservation niche for you!

Thank you to all of our wonderful and dedicated volunteers!

Past Events that PAC Volunteers have made Possible

October 16 & 17, PAC was one of four presenters at the 4-H Science Day Camp for all of the Polk County 6th graders!  PACs Pam Torlina & volunteers Christel Walter & Carlann Scherping presented a program on watershed ecology.  On the 16th, the group met at Bradley Field and studied Cove Creek.  On the 17th, with the threat of rain, the group met at the 4-H center; the watershed model was used to show the kids how important it is to protect our watersheds!DSC_0060_10570

Carlann Scherping, PAC volunteer, shows a picture of what a Mayfly larvae will grow up to look like.

DSC_0063_10573Christel Walter, PAC volunteer, teaches water chemistry to the students.

October 5, several of our wonderful volunteers, Don and Liz Dicey, Bob Tobey, Kathy Gross, Carol McCall, and Chet Chavez, represented PAC at the Columbus Farm Festival!

The crew was there to let the public know about what PAC does in our community. PAC not only protects wild spaces, but has worked with area farmers to protect nearly 1,500 acres of farm land (for horses, hay production, raising cows and bison, and growing crops, like tomatoes)!


PAC also works with a goat farmer, utilizing goats to eradicate Kudzu from a 2-acre lot near IGA in Tryon. The use of goats is better for the environment than using herbicides and/or mechanical methods. (This Kudzu eradication project is funded by a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation.)


Thank you to our wonderful volunteers!


IMG_4530Don Dicey, Bob Tobey, Liz Dicey, and Kathy Gross represent PAC (in the morning) at the Columbus Farm Festival.


IMG_4533Carol McCall, Bob Tobey, and Chet Chavez represent PAC (in the afternoon) at the Columbus Farm Festival.

July 20th, PAC sponsored and attended the Spartanburg Water’s 2nd annual Paddle Fest at Lake Blalock Park in Spartanburg, SC!

Paddle Fest is an annual family fun event held to connect the community to our reservoirs via paddling and increase the stewardship of our water resources. During the event, Spartanburg Water hosted educational paddle tours, kayak and canoe races, beginner kayak, canoe and paddleboard classes, and kayak demos.


IMG_4118PAC VP, Cathy Cockman Taylor and Board Member Renee McDermott joined PAC’s Pam Torlina at the PAC booth at Paddle Fest in the morning. 

IMG_4122Folks enjoying the water and watersports at Paddle Fest. 

IMG_4123Liz Dicey volunteered with Pam Torlina in the afternoon. (The wind picked up, so we had to make some adjustments to the display!).

May 31, 2013, PAC and the Tryon Garden Club got together for the final native plant rescue before construction of the “Green Restrooms” at Pearson’s Falls.  Special thanks to Carol Meeske, Lyn & Joe Boeckx, Tim Lee, Eva Pratt, Don Clapp, and Pam Torlina for coming out to rescues so many native plants today!

IMG_0248Tim Lee joins the crew to rescue native plants! (photo by Carol Meeske)


IMG_0250Pam Torlina shows visitors from Lindsay, Ontario a new county record for Polk that she found, Georgia Holly (Ilex longipes) [identified by David Campbell], ranked S1 in NC (“critically imperiled” with 1-5 known populations in the state with <1000 individuals!). (photo by Carol Meeske)


IMG_0254[1]The erosion control site along the trail to Pearson’s Falls where numerous rescued ferns were planted. (photo by Carol Meeske)

May 24th, PAC and Tryon Garden Club volunteers worked to rescue native plants from a the future site of “Green Restrooms” at Pearson’s Falls.  Many of the plants were planted at an erosion control site at Pearson’s Falls, some were used at a restoration site on PAC owned property, and others are being donated by the Tryon Garden Club to PAC for a native plant sale!  We appreciate all of the wonderful volunteers who have come out to rescue these native plants!  Those that came out today include: Lyn Boeckx, Peggy Burke, Eva Pratt, Carol Meeske, Susan Kelley, Gretchen Morris, and Pam Torlina.

We will be planning the final native plant rescue (before construction begins) on either May 29th or May 30th.  Watch PAC’s website and Facebook page for details, and please, if you can, join us, your efforts will greatly support conservation of our areas natural resources!



Peggy Burke

IMG_0238  Lyn Boeckx help at the native plant rescue!

May 16th, PAC and the Tryon Garden Club teamed up to rescue native plants a Pearson’s Falls.  The Tryon Garden Club is putting in new “Green Restrooms” at Pearson’s Falls and the crew worked to relocated native plants from the building site.  Many plants have been relocated!


On May 4, 2013, PAC Volunteers Judith Gosser, Nadine Naujoks, Chet Chavez, Barbara Hall, and Liz Dicey represented PAC at the FENCE Earth Day event.  The volunteers occupied PAC’s booth and provided attendees with information about PAC, as well as a great activity, leaf and feather rubbings!  We really appreciate the way you represented PAC at this event!  Great job!

PAC volunteers Nadine Naujoks, Judith Gosser, and Chet Chavez.

               PAC volunteers Nadine Naujoks, Judith Gosser, and Chet Chavez. (photo by Pam Torlina)

PAC volunteers Chet Chavez and Barbara Hall.

PAC volunteers Chet Chavez and Barbara Hall (not pictured, Liz Dicey). (photo by Nadine Naujoks)

Check out PAC’s Facebook page for a few more photos, https://www.facebook.com/pacoletarea.conservancy

On April 23, 2013, PAC Volunteers, Lois Torlina, Barbara Hall, Bonnie Wood, Gretchen Verbonic, and Susan Kelley joined PAC’s Pam Torlina and Debra Hansborough to help with the mailing of PAC’s spring newsletter. Thank you, ladies, for all of your help and dedication to PAC!

On October 29, 2012, PAC Volunteers Susan Kelley, Barbara Hall, Joyce Lamb, Carole Bartol, and PAC Office Administrator, Debra Hansborough met to help with the mailing of PAC’s fall giving letter. Thank you, ladies, for all of your help and dedication to PAC!

PAC Volunteers (from left to right) Susan Kelley, Joyce Lamb, and Barbara Hall, hard at work on the PAC fall giving letter mailing. (photo by Carole Bartol) [not pictured Carole Bartol and Debra Hansborough]

On June 2, 2012, National Trails Day, PAC teamed up with the Polk County Wellness Coalition for “Polk Fit, Fresh and Friendly: A Coalition for Wellness Promotion”!

PAC had two stations within the county, one at the Norman Wilder Forest trail head off of Hwy 176, and another at one of the trail heads for the Weaverbarton Shuford Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary trail, located behind the St. Luke’s Hospital (the other trail head is located off of Shuford Drive in Columbus).

PAC’s land protection specialist, Pam Torlina, and her daughter, Jade welcomed guests at the Norman Wilder Forest Trail head, while PAC volunteers, Nadine Naujoks and Mary Savard greeted guests at the Weaverbarton Shuford Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary trail head behind St. Luke’s!

Shelby (the dog), Nadine Naujoks, and Mary Savard at the Weaverbarton Shuford Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary trail head behind St. Luke’s Hospital. (photo by Pam Torlina)

PAC “Kudzu Warriors” after a day in the field at the PAC protected Norman Wilder Forest. The crew has been working every Monday, from 8-10 (or 9-11, depending on the season), since February 2011, to try to eradicate Kudzu from the property. The area behind the crew is where they started in February 2011. It’s lookin’ good folks! Thank you!

2/27/12, PAC Kudzu Warriors (from left to right): Greg Miner, Mary Savard, Bill Jackson, Ken Weitzen, Barbara Hall, Bob Hall, and Alex Salley. (photo by Pam Torlina)

On February 18, 2012, PAC Volunteers Steve King, Alex Salley, Bob Hall, and Barbara Hall joined PAC’s Land Protection Specialist, Pam Torlina, at Norman Wilder Forest for a trail work day! Thanks to the small crew, the trails are lookin’ good for hikers! Thank you for your help keeping the trails clear and passable!

By the way, the trillium and Bloodroot are about to POP! Spring is in the air!

PAC Volunteers (from left to right) Steve King, Alex Salley, Bob Hall, and Barbara Hall help out at the Trail Work Day at PAC’s Norman Wilder Forest. (Photo by Pam Torlina)

On February 16, 2012, PAC Volunteers, Susan Kelley, Barbara Hall, Lois Tirre, Mary Savard, Linda Sprague, PAC President, Carole Bartol, and Office Assistant, Debra Hansborough worked diligently to get out PAC’s Winter 2012 Newsletter. Thank you all for your help in spreading the word about PAC’s recent activities!

PAC Volunteers (from left, around the back of the table to the front, to right) Carole Bartol (PAC President), Mary Savard, Barbara Hall, Susan Kelley (Office Volunteer), Linda Sprague, and Lois Tirre. (photo by Pam Torlina)

On November 18, 2011, PAC Volunteers, Linda Sprague, Barbara Hall, Susan Kelley, and Carole Bartol, helped stuff envalopes for PAC’s Annual Holiday Party. Thank you for all you do, ladies!

PAC Volunteers (from left to right), Linda Sprague, Barbara Hall, and Susan Kelley. (Photo by Carole Bartol.)