Conservation Journal: Erin

The Lakes Regions 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 29, 2017

Erin

I was an SCI intern at the SLA last summer, 2016, and my main impression of the program was the satisfaction and confidence I got from our tasks. It was a summer of firsts for me- I learned how to scuba for milfoil, do trail work, clean composting toilets, and drive a boat. But now, not even a month into the LRCC program, here’s a summary of the first few weeks:

 

-You know how to clean a composting toilet? Great, today we’re going to show you how to completely empty the Clivus of 12 months of human waste.

-Yeah we’re going to drive the boats, here’s how to fix the motors too.

-Milfoil removal can’t happen in the winter, so you guys will work on the years of data we have for milfoil removal and help us improve our management plan.

-Trail work will now happen twice as often, and you’re going to get to build new trails and help relocate old ones, one giant rock and five gallon bucket of dirt at a time.

 

I’ve realized that the SCI program barely scratched the surface of what conservation work with the Squam Lakes Association really means. It was still of course an amazing program, there’s just only so much you can do and teach newcomers during the short but busy three month summer season. That’s why we’re all so excited to be a part of this new AmeriCorps program, there’s so much to do!

On a more personal note, I’m also THRILLED to be back in the New England region for a full 10 months, and experience my first real winter (remember, I’m a Texas gal). My favorite memory from the last week was probably when the other LRCC-ers realized I didn’t know what a snow plow looked like, as a described “weird truck with a giant shovel on the front driving down the road” that I had seen earlier. In my defense, there wasn’t even snow on the ground so I didn’t have any contextual hints, but it was still a highlight on my list of new experiences.  I also feel like I didn’t take full advantage of the opportunity when I was here last. I want to actually complete the Squam Ranger challenge for one thing... no more excuses this time around. I want to climb more of the 4,000 footers, go to the beaches of the East coast and add to my marine biology exploration list, and most importantly, see a moose!

Erin is from Dallas, Texas. She graduated from the University of Austin where she majored in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology. Click here to read Erin's bio.

 

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