Conservation Journal: Connor N.

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.

August 31, 2018

Connor N.

As the summer winds down and the cool days of fall wait just around the corner, I can’t help but reflect on the variety of changes happening around the lake, at the SLA, and in my own personal life. Although the heat hasn’t left us quite yet, the changing of the seasons will soon be plainly visible throughout the Squam watershed. From the turning of the leaves to the lake temperature cooling, the adaptive and ever-changing nature of the natural world around us constantly amazes me. Make sure you take some time this fall to get out and enjoy what I consider to be the best season. There’s nothing quite like hiking on a cool day with leaves swirling around you and crunching beneath your feet.

This week in particular brought about many changes at the SLA. It was with heavy hearts but wonderful memories that we said goodbye to four of our full-term AmeriCorps members. When I arrived in May I was a bit overwhelmed by all of the new skills to learn and responsibilities to take on but having experienced AmeriCorps members made the transition much easier. They helped guide us SLA newbies in the beginning of our program and proved to be unforgettable friends and dependable coworkers. Us remaining six AmeriCorps members will miss them dearly, but they are all on to the next great adventure in their lives and we couldn’t be happier for them! Although we are lower in numbers, our efforts at the SLA continue unfettered towards our goal of preserving the Squam watershed and helping others get out there and experience what it has to offer (sustainably of course!).

Finally, I’d like to reflect a bit on something that is relevant in any field of work: motivation. Staying motivated can be hard, especially when the days are long and hard, one has to find something to keep them grounded and going. For me, I’ve found quite a bit of inspiration in those around me. My fellow AmeriCorps members are my coworkers, that’s true, but they’re also my roommates and friends and push me to be the best I can be. It is obvious that we all have a passion for conservation, and that passion pushes us all to do the best work we can. Sometimes it’s rough to wake up for a 7AM dive day or head out to camp after a full day of work. But seeing others do the same (usually with minimal complaints) really pushes me to be my best. Whether in times of hardship, times of happiness, or times of just pure exhaustion; having a friendly and supportive community around me has been an essential part of my SLA experience.

Remember to take some time to enjoy the fresh air and the outdoors this fall, the best season is nearly upon us and I couldn’t be more excited!

Connor N. is from Carmel, Indiana. He graduated from Ohio Northern University where he studied Environmental/Field Biology and Spanish. Click here to read Connor's bio.

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