Conservation Journal: Stevie

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.

November 30, 2018

Stevie Raymond

CRUNCH. The wintery mix of snow and ice gives way from the impact. Shards of frozen water particles rub against each other creating a hoarse sound. A man painfully groans. Birds happily chirp. Suddenly, the ground turns to brown as a liquid oozes over the area. The scent of hazelnut fills the air. A closer look reveals a solo man, who looks like he just rolled out of bed, laying on the ground with a spilt coffee mug by his side. He aimlessly stares up at the sky with a certain expression on his face. Mad? No, but clearly annoyed.

“Winter, we meet again.”

Yep. That’s me. Stevie Raymond. AKA the man who winter has a personal vendetta against. Why? Probably because I complain about the snow ALL the time having lived in New England my entire life. And yet, here I am serving in the Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) for a winter program. We’re about a month in and so far I’ve remained a trooper about the snow. I’m not quite sure why, but learning how to plow in our truck has been one of my favorite moments. There’s something oddly satisfying about clearing an area once filled with snow. I’ve also never felt more like a New Englander than plowing in a storm, cup of coffee in hand with the windows down and oldies playing on the radio. Country roads take me home!

I’ve also grown very fond of my fellow AmeriCorps members since our start date of November 1st. My favorite memory has been our night out in Plymouth, NH during the very first snowfall. Adel and Kim have never experienced a New England winter before and were ecstatic to see flurries trickling down from the heavens. I keep telling them to wait until a Nor’easter comes our way, but their spirits never fade. Seeing their jubilant faces made me realize how lucky I am to live in an area that experiences all four seasons. Our landscape is an awe-inspiring beauty, an ever-giving gift that is further complimented by the annual snowfall which enhances the wonder. It’s through them, and many others alike, a new hope rises in re-learning the beauty of New England and how I should appreciate the natural world which surrounds me.

Now in the meantime, it’s time to force myself upright and get another cup of coffee.

Stevie grew up in Claremont, NH and recently received his BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont.  You can read more about Stevie in his bio.

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