My Summer with the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust
My name is Addison Gruber, I graduated from College of the Atlantic in 2022 with a degree in human ecology. I grew up in Florida and moved to Bar Harbor, Maine in 2018 for college. No matter where we live, the lands we live in and around affect our lives in intimate ways. Different kinds of land use dictate everything from the water we drink to the visual and physical landscapes surrounding us.
This internship has made me more aware of how much work it takes to run and operate a land trust and to maintain lands for conservation and public access. As an intern with Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust in Bucksport, I have had the opportunity to learn about different facets of what it takes to run a land trust. I spend some days out on trust lands putting up signs, checking kiosks and campsites, and clearing and building trails with the steward. Other days I spend in the office going through the mail, keeping track of donations and invoices, managing GIS layers and maps, and working on surveys. On other days I get to help with events and work with volunteers and board members. Some recent highlights have been learning how to drive the tractor and mow and painting blazes on new trails. As someone who came in with a biological background, seeing the ways that the different kinds of work and people with different skills come together to create something wonderful has been very informative.
I have been thinking about the link between land trusts and human ecology–I studied human ecology at College of the Atlantic, looking at interactions between humans and the environment. To conserve land you cannot only be concerned with the biological or physical features of a landscape, but also of the people. Because people care about landscapes they support or volunteer or work with a trust to conserve that land, and without their work, the work of land trusts would not be possible. In order to conserve land, you need foresters, biologists, directors, communicators, stewards, volunteers, mapping specialists, and many more people. One of the biggest things I have learned so far is how many different people working together it takes to make this work possible.
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