Conservation Journal: Ben

The Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) is an AmeriCorps service program that develops skills and experiences for conservation professionals. LRCC members are the driving force behind the Squam Lakes Association’s conservation efforts. The program provides hands-on conservation work experience and numerous certifications over a broad range of areas, which ensures that LRCC members are capable of independently approaching a variety of tasks in the environmental conservation field. Members remove invasive species from the Squam watershed, manage and act as caretakers at our backcountry campsites, maintain the SLA’s 50+ miles of trails, educate the public on local and regional conservation initiatives, spearhead reports on conservation efforts, lead SLA volunteer crews and ensure the daily functioning of the Squam Lakes Association’s programs. Click here to learn more about the LRCC program.

February 15, 2018


There are many differences between winter up here in New England and “winter” back home in North Carolina. Of course, there is the snow and the lakes freezing over, as well as the constant snow removal that comes with it (you might take it for granted, but being able to drive to the grocery store a few hours after it stops snowing is still kind of a magical thing to me). The most interesting difference, however, has been how active the community stays through out the winter. In the south when it gets cold and kind of snowy, we mostly just retreat back inside and wait it out. Up here folks keep taking advantage of all of the amazing outdoor opportunities year-round. They just trade out the running shoes for skies, boats for snowmobiles, balls for pucks, and carry on.

I’ve been able to try a lot of these winter sports and activities for the first time, and have had some great experiences continuing our goal of balancing access and stewardship through the past month. For example, the LRCC got the opportunity to join the Lake Winnipesaukee Association and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust for a morning of cleaning up trash out on the ice. After the big ice fishing tournament that happened over the weekend, we expected to have our hands (and bags) full picking up trash left over. We ended up, after scouring most of the large area of Center Harbor Bay that the anglers occupied, barely finding any trash on the ice and leaving almost empty handed! It’s amazing to work in a community that not only stays active throughout the winter, but also stays mindful of the environment as they are out there enjoying what the Lakes Region has to offer.

We are looking forward to hosting our own event, the 21st annual Winterfest, to share this appreciation for the lakes and the community. Along with all the rest of the preparation that goes with it, I’ve gotten to add one more life skill to my portfolio: designing and building a miniature golf course. The course, constructed out of snow, is one of the many treats planned for this Saturday and, more importantly, has opened up all kinds of career options for me if this conservation thing doesn’t work out.

Ben is from Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from the College of Wooster with a degree in Biology. Click here to read Ben's bio.

Join our LRCC members for weekly guided hikes, volunteer opportunities, and conservation programs. Learn more by clicking here.