Conservation Journal: Erica

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.

June 10, 2018


Squam is the place I have been lucky enough to call home for a long time, but the Squam Lakes Association and AmeriCorps are both new to me as of May 21st.  I’ve already learned so much. We have been training nonstop since we got to the SLA, and it has been quite the whirlwind. In two weeks I have gained a whole new perspective on Squam Lake and all that surrounds it.

 Before, I knew the lake from reflective evening paddles, long exciting days sailing across the broads, and quick hikes up Rattlesnake or Morgan and Percival; now it is so much more. I had only seen the lake a hand full of times from a motorboat, but now, not only have I ridden around on a gasoline toting vessel, I have actually driven three of them, multiple times (And taken the NH Safe Boater course, so it’s all safe!). Rebecca taught us new AmeriCorps members how to do water quality testing around the lake, where we measured site depth, temperature, visibility, and took water samples. As the summer progresses, I am very excited to learn more about the quality of Squam Lake’s water, which I have taken more than a few accidental gulps of over the years. I trail hosted at the Rattlesnake trailhead on a weekend, and I saw first hand how many people come from all over to hike SLA trails. Connor took me to the new SLA trail, which he helped build, and we spent a few buggy hours hiking it with a 4x4 on our shoulders, digging a deep hole for the 4x4, finding an enormous rock in the hole, placing the 4x4, and filling in the hole so it looked the 4x4 had always been there to be a sign post. I always knew trail work was hard, now I am beginning to understand how hard.

This is just the beginning. It feels great to be learning to care and advocate for this watershed that has always been an important part of my life. Here’s to two more weeks of training, and an entire summer and fall of growing in and with the Squam Lakes Association and AmeriCorps.           

Erica is from Holderness, NH. She graduated from Colby College with a degree in Geology and Environmental studies. Click here to read Erica's bio.          

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