Saturday, August 22, 2009

Silver Creek Twinterns

Working as summer interns at the Silver Creek Preserve was an amazing experience. During this time, we, Meredith and Alli, came to know and love the area. With 883 acres to tend to, there is a lot of maintenance work and we were never at a loss for something to do. Daily work for us included irrigation, trail and fence maintenance; watering; weed control; office work; water and fire monitoring; running the visitor center and more.

At the Preserve, the bigger picture is always in sight. It’s clear how important it is to help conserve these special places. It might be repetitious doing chores such as cleaning outhouses or entering data, but other times you get to enjoy interacting with Nature Conservancy members and donors.

Working conditions and our work schedules varied and we are glad! Following three solid weeks of rain in June, came the hot and sunny days of July and August. As weeks progressed, we were fortunate to observe the natural shift in trout, bird, floral and agricultural patterns. A flexible work schedule benefits TNC and us; the variety of tasks and the scheduling gave us opportunities to express and grow in the areas of discipline, responsibility, and efficiency.

Living in a rural setting was a refreshing break from the fast-paced college life with its more constant social and media distractions. We will always value Silver Creek outdoor experiences: early foggy mornings with yackety or musical birds, evening walks in the company of coyotes and owls, friendly meet-ups with locals, and the not-so-friendly interactions with mosquitoes!

We gained an understanding of why Silver Creek Preserve draws people back again and again. Jumping off the bridge into the water after a sweaty day, finding hiding spots of a great blue heron, watching baby birds learn to fly, or patiently attempting to catch the crafty trout, we are taking with us great memories of moments on the Preserve. Next year we, too, will be itching to return to this beautiful preserve and experience again the natural beauty it has to offer.

As summer interns, we continually experienced opportunities to appreciate the balancing acts necessary to reach compromises between/among the public, donors, fishermen, and landowners.

Here’s hoping our paths will cross. Thank you to Dayna Gross and family, Ginny and Dave Glasscock, Sarah and Jack Blumenstein, John and Elaine French, Brianna Schultz, Stephanie Hansen, Taylor Pasley, Debbie Fowler, and all the other staff, volunteers, and public who helped make the summer such a wonderful experience!

Thank you!
Meredith and Alli Stewart,
Silver Creek Preserve Summer Interns 2009

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