Land Stewardship’s Many Rewards
I was excited to apply to become an MCHT intern because I wanted to learn more about Maine land conservation and access to the outdoors, and how they relate to each other. I saw the internship with York Land Trust as an opportunity to spend time in landscapes I have enjoyed recreating in, while also being allowed to play a small role in their management and conservation.
Thus far, one of the largest takeaways has been what a privilege it is to experience conserved lands while working—even if “experiencing conserved lands” means mowing trails and pulling ticks off my legs. At the end of the day, I am satisfied with the tangible results of my work and grateful for the time outside and under the sun.
“I’ve been granted a behind-the-scenes perspective on land conservation, and seen how conserved landscapes benefit countless lives.”
While trail and property maintenance can be physically demanding, it’s given me a new appreciation, as a citizen who loves nature, for all the work behind providing access to the wide range of outdoor experiences available in Maine.
The other large aspect I appreciate about this internship, though, is how far I have come in better understanding the surrounding environment. Walking with my boss, Joe Anderson, and other professionals in the field of conservation has helped me learn so much, while also showing me how much more there is to learn.
Reflecting on my summer internship with Maine Coast Heritage Trust, I feel thankful for the opportunity to work for York Land Trust. I’ve been granted a behind-the-scenes perspective on land conservation, and seen how conserved landscapes benefit countless lives.
“While helping to steward these lands I’ve been fortunate enough to see multiple Pileated Woodpeckers, mating pairs of Bobolinks, and a coyote pup that regularly passes by our game cam.”
I’ve enjoyed talking with many landowners and learning about the profound connections they share with their land, and their strong desire for it to remain wild and undeveloped.
In our preserves and online, I’ve interacted with members of the public (both human and canine), who have expressed their appreciation for the public access to the lands that York Land Trust conserves and safeguards.
But perhaps most memorable are the wildlife experiences that I’ve had at work, which have elucidated to me the scale and diversity of lives that land conservation benefits.
While helping to steward these lands I’ve been fortunate enough to see multiple Pileated Woodpeckers, mating pairs of Bobolinks, and a coyote pup that regularly passes by our game cam. Moments like these prove to me both the unique biodiversity of southern Maine, and the value of conserving this land for wildlife and humans to coexist.
Jacob Lawlor is one of ten 2019 Maine Coast Heritage Trust Conservation Interns. This summer he’s working with York Land Trust.