The SCA Manchester Crew's visit to the Karner Blue Butterfly Easement within the Concord Pine Barrens exemplified the concept of service learning. The SCA-M crew began the day with an interpretive hike, led by the Fish and Game Department who taught the crew about the delicate Pine Barren Forest ecosystem. The crew learned that fire is essential to this type of habitat because the fire resets the ecosystem by pushing back unwanted vegetation. This, in turn, increases light availability for vegetation vital to the habitat, such as the Blue Lupine plant which is the sole food source for the endangered New Hampshire State Butterfly - The Karner Blue.
The newly educated crew could now begin their service work for the day. They began clearing vegetation along a migratory butterfly corridor, making room for Blue Lupine to be planted the following month. After lunch they visited the ‘Captive Rearing Lab' where the crew members were given the opportunity to examine Karner eggs under magnification and witness the process by which they raise, tag, study, capture and release thousands of butterflies every year. The SCA-M crew returned to the Easement once more to create a firebreak; a clearing of vegetation which creates the perimeter of a prescribed burn, preventing it from getting out of control and becoming a wildfire. The crew finished the day hot and sweaty but cooled down with some much needed ice cream!