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.

October 24, 2018

Connor N.

It’s bittersweet to know that this was my last month of my AmeriCorps term here at the SLA. It has been an incredible experience so far and I am excited for what the future holds now that I have had a taste of working in the conservation field. One of my favorite events of this fall has been the annual ridge race! Although I didn’t have the opportunity to run the race, I did get the chance to hike and mark the 4-mile race. Even the “shorter” of these 2 races was definitely tough, and I have such respect for everyone who ran or hiked on the day of the race! The whole day was so much fun with food, friends, and good times all around. On that day I really felt like a part of the Squam Lakes community, even if I’ve only been here for a short time.

Now that we’re done SCUBA diving for the season, we’ve had the opportunity to work on many more of the trails managed by the SLA. Trail work can be tough, but I’m glad I get to hike and see more of the area around Squam. There are so many beautiful views and challenging trails available that don’t get as much love as they deserve! This past weekend I was a trail host at the old bridle path trailhead on West Rattlesnake. It was incredibly busy, likely due to the holiday weekend. I was glad to see so many people from other cities, states, and even countries who had come to the area just to see and experience the beauty of Squam in the fall.

I personally got a great view of the fall foliage just this week on Mount Washington! Since coming to New Hampshire in May, I’ve heard many tales and stories of my coworkers and friends hiking up in the white mountains and I knew that I had to find a day to do some hiking myself. It was a beautiful morning as we started our ascent on Washington at around 8:30 AM. Although the climb was long and arduous, I felt an immense sense of accomplishment (and relief for my aching legs) when we reached the summit just before noon. Although New Hampshire has so much to offer, with my conquering of Mount Washington, I feel as though I have had nearly the full New Hampshire experience. A little piece of New Hampshire and the adventures I’ve had here will always be with me, and I’ll be sure to “live free or die” on whatever path my career takes me. Thank you to all of my friends and coworkers at the SLA for what has been an amazing AmeriCorps term, and here’s to hoping I’ll be back one day.

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.