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.
July 19, 2018
As I write my first conservation journal I had to double check that it’s been two months. Not because it went fast, but because of how much I’ve already learned and experienced in such a short amount of time. Since arriving here in New Hampshire and at the SLA, I have had the great opportunity to become aquatinted with this amazing region while learning a plethora of new skills. One of which that has literally allowed me to dive into the world of conservation. I have been interested in becoming SCUBA certified for a long time and am very pleased that my introduction to underwater worlds is coupled with gaining an appreciation of the importance of efforts such as removing aquatic invasive species. While diving, there are numerous times when I have found myself in awe of the beauty and diversity that exists under the surface when variable milfoil is not present. This makes finding and removing milfoil that much more pleasing. Being able to be a part of this effort is amazing, and this is just one of the efforts we as LRCC members are involved with at the SLA.
Another completely new skill to me is boat driving. Getting decent at this was not an easy task for me. Within the first couple of weeks of being on Squam I more than doubled the amount of times I’ve even been on a motorized boat. As I got better and more comfortable with maneuvering and navigating around the lake I’ve also gained an appreciation for boating as a way people enjoy the lake. From stunning morning commutes to dive sites, to calm evening drives to our campsites, I have a chance to see first-hand where passion for the lake stems from. This leads me to my last point I want to focus on in my journal, which is the growing appreciation I now have for trail work.
Through my own amazement of the different views of Squam Lake from each new summit I’ve hiked to, and from hearing different perspectives and experiences from hikers, the value of the trails within the Squam Lakes watershed is very apparent. While I have always enjoyed hiking, I never quite thought about the work that goes into maintaining the trails. I have only worked a couple of trail days thus far, but I can now say I will never look at a cut log on the side of a trail the same. During one of the trail days, Mike and I worked to saw a series of blow downs on a particularly hot day, upon success this accomplishment was more rewarding then I would have expected.
This summer is already turning out to be one of my most productive and enjoyable ones yet. I look forward to many more accomplishments and experiences throughout the rest of the summer and into the fall.
Kim is from from Deland, Florida. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. Click here to read Kim's bio.
Join our LRCC members for weekly guided hikes, volunteer opportunities, and environmental programs. Learn more by clicking here.