Guest Post: Meet our Stewardship Intern, Jake!

Jake works with Kathy Meany to remove trash from the Bozen Kill Preserve

Jake Hill returns to MHLC to complete his second summer as our Stewardship Intern in 2017.

Growing up in the Capital District, nature and the outdoors have always been a large part of my life. Some of my happiest memories involve exploring the landscape of Altamont, with many days spent catching animals and swimming in the Bozen Kill River.

Having spent the majority of the past three years away from home while attending school at SUNY Geneseo, I’ve gained even more of a love for the land here. This passion for the outdoors was also strengthened by the courses that I was taking at college. As a biology major with geology and environmental studies minors, my understanding and appreciation for nature and land has grown exponentially with each passing year.

Jake Builds Trails for MHLC

Last May, after finishing my sophomore year of school, I began my summer internship at Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. Having learned about land conservancies at school I had become interested in land conservation and saw an internship at MHLC as the perfect opportunity. It gave me the ability to give back and help preserve the land that I grew up on, and see if land conservation really was an interest of mine.

A highlight of last summer was the ability to work on the Bozen Kill preserve, an area that I remember exploring before it was anything but an open field with grass taller than my head. Being able to both maintain and build new trails on that preserve only strengthened the bond that I had with the land and really showed me the importance of the Conservancy’s work.

This realization stuck with me and led to me returning for a second year of my internship with MHLC. I am coming back with an increased understanding of the Conservancy and how it works, along with an increased passion for conservation. I look forward to being back on all the preserves I frequented last year, along with interacting with all the amazing people that are associated with MHLC.

Land conservation is always of the highest importance, now more than ever. Knowing that I am playing a role in keeping land from being developed and destroyed is a very rewarding feeling, and when I consider that the land I am helping to protect is the land that I grew up on it becomes even more special. Hopefully a whole new generation is able to explore MHLC properties and find the wonder they hold, falling in love with nature just as I did. Being able to play a role in preserving the land so that one day that is possible is why I came back for a second year of MHLC, and why conservation is now an incredibly important aspect of my life.

Jake

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