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Land Stewardship Fun in the Summer Sun

Brooklyn hard at work, supporting stewardship efforts at Boothbay Region Land Trust

Stories from the Coast

Land Stewardship Fun in the Summer Sun

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

By Brooklyn Washburn, 2019 Maine Coast Heritage Trust Conservation Intern

At the Boothbay Region Land Trust, one of the preserves I’ve become fond of is Pine Tree Preserve. Pine Tree doesn’t get a lot of traffic, but it offers a hilly, twisty and turny hike throughout the woods. This preserve offers a variety of trees, a view of a pond full of frogs and lily pads, and a canopy above where all you hear is the sound of countless birds singing and flying.

Land conservation is important. With all that’s going on in the world today—from deforestation to climate change to development—we need to protect lands. But I’m learning that land conservation is about so much more than just protecting the land and keeping it in a somewhat natural and wild state. There are native plants and animals that occupy these lands, endangered species that require nesting areas, wetlands, and other bodies of water in these protected lands to survive and thrive.

Brooklyn, left, with Bailey and Ed, summer caretakers of Boothbay Region Land Trust's Damariscove Island Preserve.

“I was also drawn to MCHT’s Conservation Internship Program because I wanted to be more knowledgeable about what people are doing to help protect and preserve our environment.”

This was the first time Brooklyn I drove the entire way across the ocean to the boat launch and learned more about navigation signs and signals. She also saw many nesting ospreys!

Since being in the internship program, I still think the same way as before about land conservation—but with one key difference. On top of land conservation being important to the wild, it’s also important for the people.

By having these conserved lands and preserves, people can get out into the wild, and really experience what the Earth has to offer. By offering people places to go, land trusts can reach people who may not have had a connection with the environment before, who may learn to care more about the Earth. Having a connection between people and the environment is one of the most important things we can do to help the planet, because someone who cares about the environment is more likely to act in the interest of the planet.

“Having a connection between people and the environment is one of the most important things we can do to help the planet…”

Every summer in the past, I worked in retail and spent each day inside. This year, I really wanted to spend more time outside interacting with wildlife, plants, the ocean, and the environment as a whole. Being able to hike a preserve, maintain a trail, and be outdoors and consider it a “job” is absolutely amazing—though by the end of the day, I have a love-hate relationship with the amount of sun I’m getting.

I was also drawn to this program because I wanted to be more knowledgeable about what people are doing to help protect and preserve our environment. I wanted to see what conservation work looked like and then be able to share with the rest of the world how great land conservation really is!


 Brooklyn Washburn was one of ten 2019 Maine Coast Heritage Trust Conservation Interns. She worked for Boothbay Region Land Trust.

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