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.

September 8, 2018

Maggie

This summer has been amazing. Not only did our group of LRCC members double in size, but so did our work load. Diving, trail work, and camping may be an exhausting weekly schedule but it’s worth it. I get to be outdoors every day doing work that I love. But now that the summer is winding down and cooler temperatures are slowly rolling in, I’m getting both excited and a little sad for October to come. Although the fall is by far my favorite season, it means my time at the SLA is coming to a close.

My time here has not only been fun but has transformed me into the budding conservation professional I have always hoped to be. I came here after graduating college with a vague idea of what I wanted to use my degree for. Here I have found myself delving into a broad range of conservation initiatives, allowing me to expand my education in an applied way. I have been able to dive for invasive variable milfoil, help expand the terrestrial removal program at the SLA, learned what it takes to maintain a vast trail network, and run educational programs which not only enlightened the public but has helped me develop my public speaking skills. One of my favorite educational programs I ran this summer is the Weed Watchers program. A program created by the NH Department of Environmental Services. Because the SLA works tirelessly to get rid of invasive milfoil within the lake, it is important that we share our understanding of invasive plants with the public. This program is designed to help community members identify aquatic plants so they can participate in the Squam Lakes Associations fight against variable milfoil. With more eyes to search out these invasive species the better chance we have of eventually eradicating variable milfoil once and for all.

The LRCC AmeriCorps program has given me an inside look into a successful conservation nonprofit and has allowed me to see what it really means to work in this field. I will be forever grateful to the SLA for helping me to build my confidence and teaching me the true value of doing work that positively effects not just the environment but also the community. 

Maggie is from Swampscott, Massachusetts. She is serving her second service term with the Lakes Region Conservation Corps program at the SLA. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts- Amherst with a degree in Natural Resource Conservation. Click here to read Maggie's bio.

Join our LRCC members for weekly guided hikes, volunteer opportunities, and environmental programs. Learn more by clicking here.

 

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