Conservation Journal: John

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.

December 14, 2018

John Plummer

Every once in a while when I make my way into nature I have an intimate and powerful experience if I allow myself to pay attention and listen. I've traveled to a lot of different places and found this to be possible, but on Monday morning, all I had to do was walk across the street to White Oak Pond and lace up my skates just before the sun burst above the horizon. As we have all noticed, the air has gotten cold especially quick this year, which lends itself well to creating conditions for donning metal-edged vehicles with which to travel across all varieties of frozen water. I am typically inclined to let myself glide down our glorious mountains this time of year, but I am now finding myself in close proximity to multiple large frozen bodies of water as well, which are proving to be a pull from which I cannot divert my attention.

The place where the ice meets the land is ugly. Like a cracked and oozing wound, it is easy to see the turmoil of freezing and thawing that happens as the ice moves in and out and busts up toward the sky. There are leaves and sticks and dirt smashed into the jumble of ice, and one always feels awkward stumbling over that mess as you make your way out into the open. Once you are out there, though, oh that sweet open space is like a field of glass upon which you can drift for eternity.

Having lived in New Hampshire my whole life, I know how precious a frozen pond can be. With snow, ice and changing temperatures, a natural skating rink is typically a treasured but fleeting hallmark of our community. On Monday morning though, after the gift of a biting cold week without precipitation, we found crystal clear and smooth ice before even the passing of the winter solstice. I was gliding out into the middle of the pond just as the sun was rising, finding myself engulfed in the warm glow of pink and orange light. The air was still and crisp and all I could hear were the deep pangs of movement in the ice echoing through the water beneath my feet.

John graduated from  the University of New Hampshire in 2013 with a business degree and is an avid outdoor enthusiast.  Read more about John in his bio.

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