Story of the Week 3/17/16
The part of my job that I love most is getting outside with our volunteers. Since serving at The Nature Conservancy, I have met a plethora of interesting and amazing people. We get volunteers from all over the state to help us do trail work, invasives removal, boundary marking and more. My favorite experience with a volunteer however, is with a fellow AmeriCorps member. The ECO AmeriCorps program allows their members to visit other AmeriCorps host sites, so Michelle decided to start volunteering with us. Soon enough she was a regular volunteer, coming out every week and helping us mark over 28 miles of boundaries in just 3 days.
Working with Michelle has not only been a huge help, but it has also helped me cultivate a new friendship and improve some of my field skills. There was one specific day where Michelle and another AmeriCorps member, Ashley, joined me at East Creek Natural Area. We spent over 5 hours literally crawling through the dense forest and we got to a point where we decided to go somewhere else just so we could stand up. The somewhere else that we chose was a straight shot SE when we looked at our map, but when we looked up, we just saw trees and shrubs. We took out our compass and did a quick lesson on orienteering and looked at the GPS to get an idea of where we were going. After a bit of a complicated journey, we finally made it to our destination and we were all so excited that the map and compass lead the way. Though the day was definitely difficult, we had so much fun being outside in the field and not only doing work, but also having great conversations and getting to know each other better. I felt as if that day in the field exemplified what it means to serve in AmeriCorps -- we were getting amazing work done but also building lasting, meaningful relationships.