My Summer Internship
My name is Madelyn Kennedy and I am a land trust intern for Inland Woods + Trails (IWT) through the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) Richard G. Rockefeller Internship Program. IWT is based in Bethel Maine and while I have passed through Bethel to go hiking, I had never stayed in the area for an extended period of time. I have really enjoyed living in Bethel this summer, especially since there are so many places to explore, including IWT hiking trails.
Interning at IWT has been a great experience, enabling me to continue learning and exploring the outdoors, something I have done my whole life. This summer, the trail crew and I worked on mountain bike trails in the Bethel Village Trails (BVT), designing and building unique trails for people in the area. When starting the internship, no one told me I would get to use an excavator or powered wheelbarrow! During these past ten weeks I have been able to use both power tools, which considerably speed up the trail building process. For example, to build bike trails in BVT we first dug out the top layer of root-filled soil, chopped up the remaining roots, and then refilled the trail with sand and clay filled soil to produce a compact surface for bikers to ride on. When using the excavator, I had the most fun digging up soil for the trails which resulted in pits that were sometimes over five feet deep. Using the powered wheelbarrow has also been a great experience since it helped us be more efficient while moving soil without exhausting ourselves.
As part of the internship, I also learned how to make five foot wide bridges, one of which crosses a bubbling stream. I have limited experience in woodworking so I learned a lot about constructing a large and stable bridge for bikes and snowmobiles. Building these bridges was definitely a highlight during the internship, since I learned a lot of new information and was able to work on the new Whirlpool Trail which is by a small pond and stream.
I have really enjoyed working for IWT through the MCHT Richard G. Rockefeller program this summer. During university, I have started considering what type of jobs I may want to pursue in the future and this internship has helped me determine that working outdoors to conserve the environment will hopefully be part of my future career.
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