It begins, but who’s to say when it begins. The drive and desire to protect natural spaces, to ensure adequate resources for future generations, to promote the recovery of endangered species while preventing others from becoming threatened, and to simply enjoy something so majestic that man can never hope to recreate it. It’s conservation. A series of small things have snowballed into larger events that have led me into becoming an aspiring conservationist. These seeds were planted as a child and as I grew, they continued to germinate.
My conservation involvement really kicked off in high school with the YMCA Earth Service Corps. Monthly service projects, seasonal retreats, and summer trips like a roadtrip to Yellowstone or a week of volunteering with the Washington Trails Association only aided in fueling my love for the outdoors. I continued to fall deeper in love with conservation work. Eventually in 2010 I had my first experience with the SCA doing an ASB trip in the Grand Canyon and I was hooked. So much in fact that the following January I started a 10-month SCA/AmeriCorps position with the New Hampshire Conservation Corps. NHCC was hella better than being in a classroom everyday.
Eventually that came to an end and I returned to Washington, still working outside, and this past summer I was lucky enough to get an internship with US Fish and Wildlife Service through the SCA. Now I’m back in school and things have come full circle. The fourth and final ASB trip of 2013 starts on March 24th in sunny California as college students from all over the country arrive at Burbank’s Bob Hope International Airport. It would be an understatement to say that I’m pretty stoked for a spring break of camping and good ol’ conservation work. And as much as I actually enjoy the rainy and overcast weather that’s typical of Washington, I can’t wait to get some sun working throughout the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
So here’s to the adventures to come this week as well as the always hard goodbyes at the end that I always hope are just “see ya laters.” This geography student at Western Washington University is ready to spend a week sleeping under the stars and getting dirty.