The Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) develops skills and experiences for conservation professionals. LRCC members are the driving force behind the Squam Lakes Association’s conservation efforts. The program provides hands-on conservation work experience and numerous certifications over a broad range of areas, which ensure that LRCC members are capable of independently approaching a variety of tasks in the environmental conservation field. Members remove invasive species from the Squam watershed, manage and act as caretakers at our backcountry campsites, maintain the SLA’s 50+ miles of trails, educate the public on local and regional conservation initiatives, spearhead reports on conservation efforts, lead SLA volunteer crews and ensure the daily functioning of the Squam Lakes Association’s programs.
To view past Conservation Journals, click on the links below.
2018-2019 Winter/Spring LRCC-SLA Conservation Journals
November 15, 2018
Considering how much we’ve done so far, it’s wild to think that we’ve only been here for two weeks. I feel as though I’ve been here for a month, and I mean that in the best way possible. As I’m starting to get a better feel for the way things work around here and who my housemates and the senior staff at SLA are, I’m more excited than ever. It’s just now starting to settle in that I’ll be calling this beautiful place home for the next ten months.
This past weekend my fellow AmeriCorps members Cole, Adel, and I ventured out to the SOLO facility in Conway, NH for Wilderness First Aid training. We were also there with AmeriCorps members Haley and Victoria from Green Mountain Conservation Group. The facility was super cool and had a lot of character to it. I think I would live there if I could. There was tons of wooden architecture, a totem pole that reached up to the third floor, and sun faded pictures of previous students (many of which had moustaches). The instructors for the course were great too. They were knowledgeable and kept everyone laughing. For every bit of information that was thrown at us, there was a joke or a story to go along with it. We learned a lot of valuable skills to assess and address injuries in the backcountry, everything from making an impromptu leg splint out of trekking poles to caring for someone with a spinal injury. Although I will admit that some of the hands-on activities were a bit awkward at times (like checking for a pulse on a stranger’s bare feet or pulling on someone’s jaw to open up their airways), it was a really interesting course and I feel like I gained a lot from it.
Because our duties here at SLA are so diverse, we’ve had a slew of trainings in the past couple of weeks to get us oriented. Just to name a few, we’ve covered using the log splitter, water quality training, interpretive training at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, and trail maintenance. During our trail maintenance training we learned about different tools that are used, such as mattocks, McLeods, and fire rakes. There’s no better way to learn something than through hands on experience, so following Katri’s presentation we loaded up the truck and headed over to the Morgan trail. Although I have some experience maintaining trails at my family’s cabin in northern Michigan, using many of these tools was a first for me. It was a long day, but there’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from looking at a freshly cleared water bar or seeing a trail that’s pooled up with water being drained. We had a few hikers come through while we were working and thank us too, which was also gratifying.
Earlier this week it seemed as though mother nature couldn't quite make up her mind, but it looks like we’ve finally made the transition into winter. We recently acquired a TV here at our AmeriCorps housing, and with the cold settling in we have an ever-growing list of movies to watch. I think we’re currently up to 31. At the rate we’ve been adding them compared to actually watching them, I’m not sure we’ll ever finish them all, but I’m definitely looking forward to taking a stab at it.
(Alex is originally from St. Clair Shores, Michigan. He recently graduated from Wayne State University and you can read more about Alex here)
Join our LRCC members for weekly guided hikes, volunteer opportunities, and environmental programs. Learn more by clicking here.
November 9, 2018
It’s officially been an entire week since the SLA first welcomed the eight of us to campus as the new LRCC Winter/Spring team! For a few of us, including myself, it’s our very first time in the state of New Hampshire, let alone on Squam Lake. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about moving across the country to a place I’d never been before, but the area is jaw-droppingly beautiful, my fellow AmeriCorps volunteers are already some of the coolest people I’ve met, and this next year promises to be full of some serious self-development (not without a good dose of fun). What more could I want?
As for this first week, after a few preliminary necessities such as introductions, orientation to the SLA LRCC program, and the creation of a chore chart—a crucial tool when eight people in their mid-20’s are all sharing a small kitchen—we launched right into a packed schedule of trainings and work around campus. On one of these days, a group of us assisted with escorting a few Plymouth State University students and their professor, Dr. Lisa Doner, out on the lake to collect samples for their limnology research. If someone were to ask me to describe what it’s like being out on a boat on Squam Lake in early November, “warm” probably isn’t the first adjective that would come to mind. Despite the chill, it was exciting to be able to both get out on the lake and to hear more about the research being conducted at the local university. Once we arrived at the spot marked on Dr. Doner’s GPS, we dropped anchor as she took out some type of radio transmitter and quickly punched in a few codes. Unsure of what to expect, but told to keep our eyes peeled, the rest of us scanned the water as the transmitter beeped once, twice… and there it was! A yellow buoy had abruptly ascended from the bottom of the lake and was now floating a few yards away from our boat. As Dr. Doner and her students hauled the buoy out of the water, she indicated specific portions of the contraption that were responsible for recording temperature, collecting sediment, and accumulating algae and phytoplankton samples. Hopefully, when she returns to collect data again in the Spring, we’ll be able to hear more about what they’ve discovered.
An additional highlight of this week was a delicious potluck hosted by the Green Mountain Conservation Group (another awesome conservation non-profit—they work on the Ossipee Watershed in Carrol County). Like SLA, GMCG just welcomed their AmeriCorps volunteers for the upcoming season and, since we’ll be working with them throughout the year, the potluck was an opportunity for all of us to come together and celebrate the start of our program. As well as becoming more familiar with GMCG’s mission and the people who work there, this was the first time all of us AmeriCorps volunteers were able to sit down and get to know each other over a meal.
Now, as we enter our second week at SLA, the last two days have been deceptively nice—sunny, clear, and the temperature lingering around a warm 55°F. With days like these, it’s hard to believe that it gets cold enough around here to freeze a body of water as large as Squam Lake. Everyone keeps telling me that it’s going to happen though, so either they’re all pulling my leg or I’m going to need to find a warmer pair of socks.
(Adel is originally from Seattle, Washington and graduated in 2017 with a B.S. in biology. You can read more about Adel here)
Join our LRCC members for weekly guided hikes, volunteer opportunities, and environmental programs. Learn more by clicking here.
2018-2019 Winter/Spring LRCC-SLA Bios
Hi! My name is Adel Barnes and I’m originally from Seattle, Washington. In 2017, I graduated from the University of Portland (Portland, Oregon, not Maine—but I’m excited to visit this other Portland I keep hearing about) where I received a B.S. in biology with a focus on microbiology, as well as minors in English and philosophy. This summer I completed my first year of AmeriCorps service with the college-access nonprofit, College Possible, and I’m ecstatic to be joining the LRCC-SLA team for my second year. I anticipate that this will be a year full of adventures and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to give back to our environment. In my free time, you’ll probably catch me reading science fiction, heading to the coast for some tide pooling, trying to find someone to play volleyball with, and/or listening to Queen.
Hello! My name is Alex Reiber and I'm from St. Clair Shores, Michigan. I am a recent graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit where I studied Environmental Science and minored in Geology. I am a huge fan of the outdoors and in my free time enjoy hiking, camping, mountain biking, and kayaking. As a child, I spent a lot of time in northern Michigan which helped me to develop a strong connection with the natural world. This connection and the sense of peace I find from being outside are what drive me to pursue a career in conservation. I am super excited about serving with the LRCC program, gaining hands-on experience with conservation and outreach, and exploring the Squam Lakes region for the first time!
Hello, my name is Amanda, and I am from Western Massachusetts! I first fell in love with teaching environmental science to children outdoors when I worked at a rustic summer camp in Western Mass during my undergraduate years at Westfield State University where I got a B.S. in Movement Science, Sport and Leisure Studies, concentration in Wilderness Leadership, and a minor in Environmental Science. Those experiences set me on a path of self-discovery that included stops in Cape Cod as an AmeriCorps member, and in Washington along the Puget Sound as an outdoor and environmental education instructor. I graduated in 2017 with my Master’s degree in Natural Resources with a certificate in Environmental Education from the University of Idaho, and I have recently found myself back on Cape Cod teaching outdoor and environmental education. I am very excited to broaden my conservation horizons while in the beautiful Lakes Region of New Hampshire! Interests include hiking, canoeing, photosynthesizing in the sunshine, reading, snowboarding, playing the uke, sending postcards, and swimming laps.
My name is Cole and I am from Buffalo, New York. I recently graduated from Daemen College in Amherst, New York. I received a bachelors in business administration. I have a very strong interest in environmental and conservation science. I hope to pursue a masters in environmental science in the future. I love the outdoors, especially being around a body of water. I grew up on a boat, visiting the Adirondacks as well as many beaches in Florida. I grew up playing soccer and hockey. I was lucky enough to get play soccer throughout my four years of undergrad. In my free time I love to listen to music, play guitar, play pond hockey, fish, snowboard, ski and skate. I am extremely excited to serve with the Squam Lakes Association and I feel it is a great opportunity for me to combine my love for the outdoors and passions together!
I grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2013 with a business degree. For a few years I stayed in my area of study, working as a technology project manager for a large insurance company. After not much time in this setting I knew I needed to seek out a more exciting and personal experience, so I left my cubicle to head back to my roots and head out to the woods. In 2015, I hiked Vermont's Long Trail and in 2017 I hiked the Appalachian Trail. Through these experiences I realized from then on I wanted to work for the land. Last year I worked as a solo backcountry caretaker for the Green Mountain Club. I love hiking, backpacking, skiing and drawing.
Hi, my name is Kimberly Appleby and I am originally from Deland, Florida. I graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. I have always enjoyed being outdoors and love wildlife. This has led me to pursue a career in conservation. My undergraduate studies have further guided my interests towards studying ecology to minimize human impact to natural ecosystems. I also enjoy kayaking, hiking, photography, and being around animals. After an amazing summer of serving at the SLA, I am excited to return for the winter term and experience Squam during the winter months!
My name is Stevie Raymond and I am from Claremont, New Hampshire. I attended the University of Vermont where I majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Wildlife Biology. My dream job would be to work some place tropical as a scuba diver managing invasive species populations. I've been with the Squam Lakes Association for the last three summers working as a conservation intern in 2016 and a recreation assistant in both 2017 and 2018. I have grown very fond of the SLA organization, landscape, and people during my time on the lake. Experiencing Squam in the winter will be a first for me, but I'm looking forward to new challenges. If you're wondering what I like to do in my spare time, you're not the only one. I enjoy watching movies, anything Star Wars or Christopher Nolan, as well as attempting to write my own films. Other than that, I dabble in standup comedy and imporv.
My name is Sydney Kahl, and I am from Plymouth, New Hampshire. I graduated from St. Lawrence University in upstate New York in May 2018 with an Environmental Studies degree, and minors in Creative Writing and Outdoor Studies. After graduating I spent the summer working for the Utah Department of Natural Resources as an Aquatic Invasive Species technician on Lake Powell, and then came back east to work at Lakes of the Clouds hut on Mt. Washington for the Appalachian Mountain Club this fall. I spent the summer of 2015 working for Squam Lakes Association as a Squam Conservation Intern, and I am very excited to be back as a Lakes Region Conservation Corps member for the winter!