Conservation Journal: Becca

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.

December 15, 2017

Becca

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to plow 6+ inches of snow? Well, now is your chance to find out. First off, plowing snow doesn’t just consist of attaching the plow to the truck and going at it, there’s a lot more to it. Some necessary items include: shovels, sand, shorts, extra clothes, headlamp, water, food and maybe some more extra clothes for when the first set of extra clothes gets wet. The truck is kept at a very warm temperature to ensure that any snow that flies into the windshield immediately melts, shorts are a must. On the other hand, you have to jump out at times to shovel certain areas and walkways; so warm clothes are also a must. Which can lead to some pretty interesting outfits… my first day plowing I walked into Golden Pond with sweatpants and t-shirt on.

Now we can move on to the actual process of plowing. It’s almost as if you are in a real life video game. Moving the snow around in such a way so that it doesn’t block driveways or the road. Then there are obstacles like rocks, trees and cars that should be avoided. We have both the steering wheel and the plow control in our hands to direct where we want to place the snow. To begin, the plow must always be in float mode. This makes it so the plow can follow the flow of the ground. When you go to dump the snow on a pile you must then always lift it up off the ground. If you’re like me, you need to be reminded anywhere from 10-50 times to keep the plow all the way up when you back up. If you fail to do so you will drag much of the snow you just tried to get rid of back in the way making even more work for yourself. After all those reminders I finally got the hang of switching from float to raising it all the way up. Patterns of leaving my finger on the up arrow became second nature by the end of the night. That’s when the fun started to kick in.

Plowing snow is now another skill I can add to the long list of things I have learned here at SLA. Like many other jobs we do, it can be pretty tiring, but it is very rewarding and lots of fun. I am looking forward to many more snowy nights spent plowing this winter!

Becca is from Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Illinois State University with a BA in Biological Sciences and a minor in Environmental Science. Click here to read Becca's bio.

 

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