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 24, 2018
As I’m sure you’ve heard from lots of other LRCC members who’ve written recently – winter is in full swing over here on Squam Lake. I know that Kyle and Becca have both highlighted the ice harvest, so I won’t explain it all over again, but just know that it was really cool. As a young child, I read all the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder – and they do a harvest for the ice-house in those, so seeing it in real life was awesome.
The wondrous activities of last week continued with winter water quality, ice safety, and chainsaw training. I’ve already written a conservation journal about water quality during the rest of the year, which I really enjoy, and doing it on the ice is even better. Rebecca and Katri were on skis, and the rest of us were snowshoeing along out to the Piper Cove site. Ben did a great job with the auger and sampling went pretty smoothly. I’m looking forward to getting to explore the rest of the lake via the ice – hopefully checking off every single water quality monitoring site (I didn’t manage to get them all during open water season). Ben and I also had a positive experience with the snow blower (and trust me when I say positive experiences with that machine are sort of hard to come by) clearing our two ice rinks out in front of headquarters. And then the rain came and sort of ruined all of our hard work, but anyway. Hopefully the skating rinks will be back in business soon, and definitely for Winterfest, which is coming up in a month!
Chainsaw training was another highlight of last week, my parents do not generally trust me with dangerous machinery, but I did all of my reading to prepare, crushed my safety quiz, and feel confident in my ability to safely operate a chainsaw. We even got the chance to practice on a tree in the field that was flattened during the last windstorm. Hopefully soon we will able to apply these skills out on the extensive SLA trails network, I know that there are downed trees blocking several trails that we are anxious to remove. It’s always a fun and productive use of time to add new skills to our repertoires. I think that’s something that this AmeriCorps program has really shown me – because I’ve had countless opportunities to learn new and useful skills from each and every one of the staff members at this organization. I’ll be back soon with another Meghan update, but until then – let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Meghan is from Sleepy Hollow, California. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in environmental studies. Click here to read Meghan's bio.
Join Meghan for a guided hike up West and East Rattlensnake on February 6th. Learn more by clicking here.