The Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) is an AmeriCorps service program that 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 ensures 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. Click here to learn more about the LRCC program.
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.