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The Nature Conservancy Helps Grow Future Conservationists Through Summer Internships Across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

The Nature Conservancy is pleased to announce that students from its Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) Program are embarking on summer adventures to nature preserves in 27 states across the country, including more than 10 sites in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.


Marquette, Michigan | July 08, 2014

The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest conservation organization, is pleased to announce that students from its Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) Program are embarking on summer adventures to nature preserves in 27 states across the country, including more than 10 sites in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Six students from New Your City arrived in Michigan yesterday ready to begin the paid internship program, which will wrap up on Aug. 1. During their time in Michigan, the students, accompanied by two mentors, will learn about the Great Lakes, river and forest ecosystems, sustainable forestry, invasive species, habitat restoration, bird monitoring and collecting biological data.

“We’re thrilled to bring this incredibly important program to Michigan, especially in its 20th anniversary year,” said Helen Taylor, state director for The Nature Conservancy’s Michigan program. “The mission of the LEAF program is to engage urban youth in conservation activities now so that they will become stewards and leaders for our planet tomorrow. We are excited to involve these students in our conservation work in the U.P. and have the opportunity to learn from them as well through the experience.”

In its 20-year history, LEAF has expanded from one to 27 states and more than 700 interns have participated in the program. In addition to providing paid jobs for students on nature preserves, LEAF also provides professional development opportunities to educators from green partner high schools around the country. The continued expansion of the LEAF program nationwide is due to leading support from the Toyota USA Foundation.

“The main goal of the LEAF program is to expose urban youth to nature and conservation careers at a young age to nurture a passion for the environment which will stick with them both personally and professionally for the rest of their lives,” said Brigitte Griswold, director of youth programs for The Nature Conservancy. “Providing students with the opportunity to participate in actual conservation projects on preserves is a great complement to their environmental classroom learning and gives them hands-on experience they may not otherwise get during the school year.”

Learn more about the students that LEAF serves, the Toyota USA Foundation and about this unique partnership model.


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org

Contact information

Melissa Molenda
The Nature Conservancy
(517) 230-0818
mmolenda@tnc.org

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