In 2009, interns Travis (at right), Rob, Clare & Chelsea put in trails at Hennen Conservation Area, cleared invasive brush from around some of the old oaks on the property, organized records and files (since we moved that summer), installed native plantings around some of the Memorial Oaks, and otherwise prepared the site for the public grand opening on August 31st.
Our intern crew for 2011, David, Margaret & Melissa, will be doing a lot of the maintenance that needs to be done to keep the Hennen site attractive for the public, in addition to promoting good conservation practices by using the site to demonstrate things like rain gardens, use of native plants, proper care of oaks, etc. We also hope to give the interns the opportunity to help with mussel surveys in local streams, and to work alongside restoration contractors to "learn the ropes" of serious natural area restoration.
The interns work at least 10 hours a week each, receiving a small stipend to cover their out of pocket costs. Through the work, they gain practical experience that they can take with them to either help with their continued studies, to help get a job in the environmental field, or to get a better idea of what type of work they want to pursue as a career.
From our perspective, in addition to getting some work done that might not otherwise happen, the interns provide a new perspective, fresh ideas, as well as enthusiasm that is very energizing.
So, depending on when you come by Hennen Conservation Area next, you may encounter a flurry of activity - perhaps a group of young people pulling thistle out of the native planting, or clearing brush from around an oak. Be sure to say hello, and thank them for their efforts!. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hennen Conservation Area is open 8am-sunset 365 days a year, and is located at 4622 Dean Street, Woodstock