Future environmental leaders are cutting their teeth instead of kicking up their feet this summer. For the second year in a row, four high school students and their mentor from New York headed West to work and learn at Nature Conservancy preserves in Colorado.
The students—Kiante Garland, Oscar Palacios Cedano, Harun Russell and Issaiah Miller—are interns from Albany’s Green Tech Charter School and participants in the Conservancy’s Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program. LEAF is an ambitious effort, supported by the Toyota USA Foundation, to empower the next generation of conservation leaders and equip them with the skills and knowledge to address our world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
The interns gained insight and experience in conserving the natural world at the Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch near Steamboat Springs.
The LEAF students created rock walls in the Native and Heritage Plant Garden, pulled invasive weeds and performed maintenance on the 1.5-mile trail in the riparian area. They also worked on U.S. Forest Service land to repair fences, help with seed collection that will be used for restoration, and monitor fish, boreal toads, and archaeological sites.
They learned about land conservation, invasive species removal, the health of freshwater systems, and the benefits of prescribed fire on forest health.
During their four-week internship, these students trained for green jobs, learned about environmental career paths and enhanced their classroom education by participating in various conservation activities.
It's been a great summer for these students—and for nature!
August 30, 2012