Nic Hertzler is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and will be serving with SCA Massachusetts Americorps for 10 months. He attended the University of Hartford for one year before deciding to take a gap year. In his free time, Nic likes to bike, hike, run, play various sports, and generally be outdoors. He is really looking forward to getting into the field and serving the larger community. ...Read more
Julia hails from the Greater Boston area, and loves finding little bits of green space in the city and suburbs. She is a recent graduate of Smith College with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy. Before Smith, she worked on a few farms and a few trail crews. She is passionate about baking sweet things, spending time outside with friends and/or dogs, cross country skiing, eating copious amounts of maple syrup, and traveling. ...Read more
Molly Lowell grew up in Saint Kitts, a small island in the Caribbean. She currently lives in Princeton, NJ. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2016 with a degree in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. She has participated in field research in the Canadian Rockies and the cloud forest in Costa Rica. Molly is excited to engage with the community, protect the natural resources of Mass., and continue working with children. Her hobbies include hiking, swimming, reading, and cats. ...Read more
Life in Hawley is a beautiful adventure. Each day begins with a hike up the hill to the bathhouse. This is my favorite part of the day, because I wake up early enough to see the stars shining brightly in the morning sky. The brisk trek up the hill is also a great way to wake up and be ready for anything the day throws at you. After making breakfast (there are many options!), our serviceday begins at 8:00 sharp. Most days involve icebreakers, games, and team building activities, which can be used later on when we start teaching. We are currently in our education training season, so days...Read more
Mid-October dawned relatively warm for the Massachusetts hilltowns, as 18 new SCA Massachusetts Corps members arrived onsite at the Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest in Hawley. Some of us drove or ﬂew from far away places like California, Washington, Georgia, Texas, or Nevada, while others travelled shorter distances from within New England. Whatever our travelling distances, we all settled into our first community meal Sunday evening, where we started our long journey into what it means to live, breathe, eat, and sleep SCA Massachusetts AmeriCorps.
We’re here for...Read more
There aren’t a lot of feelings on a trail project that are more satisfying for me than that moment when a rock finally shifts into the exact spot where you want it, and you know that it’s exactly where it needs to be—its “forever home,” as we’ve started referring to it. Rock work is seldom an exact science; it’s a lot about communication, intuition, and leverage. There isn’t usually just one way that will work to move and set a rock, but there are a lot of ways that can end up taking a long time and creating a lot of frustration. Building structures with rock can be one of the slowest...Read more
Hitch 7 was such a different hitch for me. We stayed in this U.S Fish and Wildlife house that used to be occupied by seasonal employees. It was on a wildlife refuge in Carlisle, which was just beautiful, and after what felt like endless hours of building boardwalk frame it was nice to explore; so I ran on the trails of the refuge. I used to hate running, but trail running has changed the way I feel about it all. It has suddenly become so easy to run long distances, while giving me a chance to explore all of the places we stay during hitch. I like that it makes me feel like I am getting...Read more
A stone wall lines the sides of the main entrance. A few tress outline the driveway, giving you a country-club feeling. As you go further down the road you get a peak of blue coming from behind tress and bushes. Then as you approach the visitor’s center, right there in all of it’s glory, a big deep blue blanket greats you with its incredible backdrop of trees and hillsides. The Quabbin greeted us each morning as we drove across the half-mile long dam to our worksites. 10 days surrounded by breath taking views, hard working and inspiring DCR workers, and the challenging fun of building...Read more
The five faithful, well-rested crewmembers were very excited about the place that their honorable James Simms would be sending them to on their next quest. They had heard rumors about 1400 feet of boardwalk to be completed, but were not fully enlightened as to the logistics of such a project. Trusting in their fearless Crew Leader, Soraya the Great, they ventured through a good part of the kingdom, the commonwealth of Massachusetts, relishing the quaint & rustic charm that the land is acclaimed for far and wide. The crew was very impressed upon...Read more
The ferns were as tall as me (though I’m only 5 foot 4), there were branched to duck under, prickly thorns grabbing at our legs, and rocks hiding under cover waiting to trip us. At times, we let our imagination run and we pretended we were in Jurassic Park. It sure felt like it as we trekked across the trail with our loppers, our chainsaw, our tools of trade. Each day was like a new adventure. A new quest to clear and improve the trail for our fellow outdoor explorers.
We began our day by driving to the trail head and unloading our gear and tools. Then, in order to assure were...Read more