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.

March 8, 2018

Becca

Over a week ago I complied a list of all the potential topics I could write about in my next conservation journal. That list included 12 different things, only one of which I will actually mention in this entry because since then I added even more things to that list that I found to be more important and relevant. I guess what I’m trying to say is there are always endless amounts of projects, activities and events to write about and picking and choosing between them isn’t easy. I would write about them all, but I don’t think anyone really wants to read a 10-page paper about my experience as an LRCC member. So here’s what I settled on…

This past month I had the opportunity to attend two different events that both tie directly into the independent projects I am working on. The first was the New Hampshire Land Trust Coalition Annual Meeting and Workshop. The workshop was centered around ways to find balance when hiking on some of the most popular trails throughout the state of New Hampshire. Here we heard three different perspectives on trail management. The first was a talk about Concord City Trails given by Beth Fenstermacher. Some of the issues they face are vandalism and waste being left on the trails (dog poop, for example). They are working to combat these issues both with the police and with a group of very enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. Next, we heard from our very own, Brett Durham, about the issues we at the SLA face with the overuse of Old Bridle Path up to West Rattlesnake. Finally, we heard from Wendy Weisiger of the Society for the Protection of NH Forests. The trails leading up to Mount Major and Monadnock Reservation were the two topics she discussed. These both receive a high volume of people on a daily basis and with that comes a lot of waste and damage to the trails. Social media and engagement with volunteers are two ways to try to overcome some of the damage done on the trials.

This all ties into one of my independent projects, the creation of new kiosks at trailheads and on our islands. Wendy talked a lot about Leave No Trace and having proper signage for the trails. With a high volume of people hiking our trails it is important for people to be well informed about the land they are on and ways they can still enjoy the trails, but with careful use. With inspiration I derived from the workshop, I hope that upon completion our new kiosks will be engaging and informative, aesthetically pleasing, and successful convey our mission and message.

The other event that I attended was the 19th Annual Maine Milfoil Summit. Prevention, early detection and removal of invasive species were three of the main topics discussed, all of which we do in here in the Squam Lakes Watershed. This was a great opportunity to connect with others who share the same passion for the eradication of these nasty invasive species.

Finally, I couldn’t end this journal without mentioning where this wonderful group photo came from. The SLA partnered with Waterville Valley Resort for another ski day on February 28th. This event allowed our members and staff to ski at a discounted rate and gave us, the AmeriCorps crew, a chance to meet new people and discuss the work we do here for the SLA. A number of members attended and we engaged with non-members as well, many of whom entered the raffle that Pam organized. A big thank you to Waterville Valley for bringing together the SLA team and members for a day of skiing! I think this picture sums up my continued excitement about winter in New England! I never thought I would say this, but I don’t want winter to end just yet...

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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