My Summer at Woodie Wheaton Land Trust
By 2019 MCHT Conservation Intern Kaia Williams
My name is Kaia Williams, and I am a double major in Environment, Sustainability & Society and Spanish & Latin American Studies at Dalhousie University. One afternoon I was sitting in my dorm room looking for a summer job that might relate to my sustainability major.
When searching, I saw a job ad posted by Maine Coast Heritage Trust for conservation interns. I later applied and ended up at the Woodie Wheaton Land Trust (WWLT). When I applied for the Internship Program, I had never heard of Maine Coast Heritage Trust before and didn’t even knew what land trusts do. Since that moment I have come a long way.
After attending training week, I packed up my things and got on the road headed towards Forest City Township, where there are five year-round residents. On the way, I started to think, What have I gotten myself into? I agreed to spend my summer in a place where retirees rule the area, there is no service for miles, and the Canadian border is 200 feet from the window. Little did I know at the time it would end up being one of the best experiences of my life.
“When I applied for the Internship Program, I had never heard of Maine Coast Heritage Trust before and didn’t even knew what land trusts do. Since that moment I have come a long way.”
At Woodie Wheaton Land Trust, every day brings a different task that is usually decided on the morning of. In Forest City, it is hard to make concrete plans since the power goes out at least once every week, and the weather app always seems to be inaccurate. One thing I can count on though is that the three staff members of Woodie Wheaton Land Trust will make it work. There are always outreach events to be planned, emails to respond to, visitors to talk to, and properties to be monitored.
At WWLT, I spend a reasonable amount of time in the office each week perfecting my office etiquette and preparing for outreach events and board meetings. In the office, I often make maps of the local area, design flyers for our outreach events, and complete other tasks. One of my favorite assignments that I have been given here during office days is making a new updated brochure for the land trust.
“There are always outreach events to be planned, emails to respond to, visitors to talk to, and properties to be monitored.”
In my days outdoors, I go out and monitor properties or help with trail work. I enjoy monitoring because each one of our properties is so unique and different from the next. When I am on the trails, I help with maintenance and trailblazing. No two days for me are ever the same.
Over the summer, I have learned more about land conservation and land trust work than I ever thought I would. In the long run, I am not sure that I want to be involved with land trust work, but it is definitely something to think about. I have had a great summer and would recommend this program to anyone with a similar major or interested in conservation work.
Kaia Williams was one of ten 2019 Maine Coast Heritage Trust Conservation Interns. She worked for Woodie Wheaton Land Trust.