The Ins and Outs of Conservation Work

Written By Trent Stevens, 2018 Maine Land Conservation Intern

A typical day is practically nonexistent when working with land trusts.

This holds true in my experience working for the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT), the Phippsburg Land Trust (PLT), and the Bates Morse Mountain Conservation Area & Shortridge Coastal Center. During my summer internship, my time is split between these three organizations, all of which have slightly different missions.

 
 
  Trent on Morse Mountain in Phippsburg.

Trent on Morse Mountain in Phippsburg.

 

Blazing new trails

I have the opportunity to work with the Regional Field Team when they are doing field work at KELT and PLT properties. This work includes blazing, cutting new trails, maintaining trails, marking boundaries, and much more. Although some days are tough it is rewarding at the end of the day to consider what work was completed. It is by far one of the best parts of this internship experience.

It isn’t all a walk in the park

In my work for KELT, I have done GIS mapping, reviewing baseline documentation for preserves, and other tasks. A majority of my time for KELT is spent in the office. I’ve learned it is important work to complete documents so that the organization can stay up to date with their accreditation standards. Similarly, for PLT I’ve helped organize files as well as the creating baselines for easements.

 
 
 
 

A place worth protecting

One of the most interesting aspects of my job is related to the Shortridge Center. This property is owned by Bates College and is used as a research center and getaway for students. I not only reside at Shortridge for the summer, but I also am working on documentation in hopes of conserving the land as an easement. This would forever protect the land which, in my opinion, would be a great opportunity for the town of Phippsburg! There are massive ridges that run North and South on the property, wetland, and diverse habitat including pitch pine forests.

 
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Midcoast Maine: see if for yourself

On my days off I have the opportunity to explore the surrounding areas so that I can really understand the landscape of midcoast Maine. I have lived in Washington County my whole life and I can say by far midcoast Maine is one of the many beautiful places in the State. There are numerous beaches, mountains, wetlands, and pitch pine forests to explore which make the area so unique and worth conserving. I urge everyone to visit this area and all the friendly people who  reside here.

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Trent Stevens is a student at the University of Maine at Machias and will be finishing his final year studying Environmental Recreation and Tourism Management and concentrating in Conservational Law. His is working for Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Phippsburg Land Trust, and the Bates Morse Mountain Conservation Area & Shortridge Coastal Center.

Becky Kolak