Conservation Journal: Maggie

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.

January 2, 2018

Maggie

Working during the winter at Squam has proven to be full of new experiences. My newest acquired skill is using the snow plow. Driving the big truck with the plow on it has definitely been something to get used to. It's always a bit of a shock getting into the driver seat, the sheer size of the vehicle makes me feel very small. But it also makes me feel powerful when I can just clear my way through any snowy obstacle. It’s something I’m going to enjoy getting better at over the next few months.

The start of winter allows me to participate in one of my favorite activities, winter birding. Everything is so quiet and pristine in the winter, creating perfect conditions when it comes to listening for bird calls even if you get pretty cold in the process. I had the wonderful privilege of running an Adventure Ecology program last week called Wingin’ It in the Winter. I taught about winter birds frequently seen in the Squam Lakes region. I'll have to say, being able to teach the participants about something I love was an experience that I am so thankful to have had. Teaching about each of my favorite birds, tricks when it comes to identifying them, their calls, songs,  and the important role birds play in our ecosystem, was really cool, and to have five enthusiastic participants made it even better. Environmental education has always been something I have wanted to do. It's something that is deeply important to me. Finding fun ways to communicate with the public about how interesting the environment is can be a very rewarding experience. I was lucky to have run a successful program and I hope I was able to show my guests how wonderful birds are. Having run my first Adventure Ecology program made me excited to keep running more in the future. For my next program I will teach participants about invasive species, hopefully it is as successful as the birds!

The snow seemed to not want to stop as we approached Christmas. I drive a small sedan without four wheel drive. I feared for the worst when it came time for me to leave for the holiday. I was stuck in the SLA parking lot, so incredibly stuck. Every time I went to move my car the wheels just could not get any traction leaving me feeling hopeless and stranded. I prepared to call my mother telling her I was not going to make it for Christmas when Connor and Kyle saved the day. As I sat in my car defeated and incredibly frustrated Kyle came running to the rescue with the plan to tow me out of the parking lot with the truck. It was a glimmer of hope. They attached the back of my car to the truck, I put the car in neutral, and Connor drove me out. It was so amazing that it worked. Some may even call it a Christmas miracle. To try and avoid ever getting that stuck again (wishful thinking?) I decided to go a buy snow tires for my little car. Now, hopefully, I'll be slightly more prepared for driving in poor conditions!

Maggie is from Swampscott, Massachusetts. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Natural Resource Conservation. Click here to read Maggie's bio.

Join Maggie for an Adventure Ecology program on January 23rd for an interactive program about invasive plant species. Learn more by clicking here.

 

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