LEAF Interns in Vermont

Summer 2011

Reporting for work with The Nature Conservancy, from left, LEAF's Dana Christian-Warner, Iemanja Brown, Celine Martinez and Isora Lithgow.

Since 1995, The Nature Conservancy's LEAF program has been supporting the next generation of diverse conservation leaders by providing real world work experiences for urban youth from environmental high schools.

Isora Lithgow of Manhattan was a LEAF intern (Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future) in Vermont in the summer of 2011.

Volunteers and LEAF interns work together on water chestnut days.

From Manhattan and Brooklyn, the LEAF interns and their mentor get a taste of rural life in the farm fields of southern Vermont.

LEAF Intern Celine Martinez attends the High School for Environmental Studies in Manhattan. The school opened in 1992 in response to a growing consciousness of environmental issues with the expectation of increasing career opportunities in this field.

Dana Christian-Warner and Isora Lithgow become accustomed to canoeing during their LEAF internship in Vermont.

Dana Christian-Warner shares a laugh with friends.

While in Vermont, the LEAF interns are immersed in hands-on learning, including trail work.

LEAF intern Dana Christian-Warner lives in Brooklyn where she attends the Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment.

The LEAF interns spend many of their days at The Nature Conservancy's natural areas. In Vermont, they experience a powerful new sense of quiet, and that includes no cell phones and no computers.

LEAF mentor Iemanja Brown of Brooklyn is a graduate of Smith College.

The LEAF interns have a broad range of experiences in the fields, forests and mountains of Vermont.

The LEAF interns fanned out across the fields near Tim's Trail at the Helen W. Buckner Memorial Preserve at Bald Mountain to help with a post-mow survey in which the interns, Conservancy staff and volunteers checked for live and dead snakes and other wildlife after the fields were mowed.

Care is taken during mowing at the Helen W. Buckner Memorial Preserve at Bald Mountain to limit the disturbance to snakes, frogs and other creatures.

LEAF interns and volunteers spread out across the field following the mower at the Helen W. Buckner Memorial Preserve at Bald Mountain, as they check for live and dead field inhabitants.

Murray McHugh, Southern Lake Champlain Valley Stewardship Program Coordinator, checks the freshly cut hay fields at the Buckner Preserve. The Nature Conservancy is trying to find the right height for mowers' blades to prevent mortality of snakes and other wildlife.

Murray McHugh and LEAF intern Celine Martinez measure a live snake.

The Conservancy's Murray McHugh deftly measures a wiggling snake with the help of LEAF interns.

Volunteers join the LEAF interns as they record their findings following mowing at the Helen W. Buckner Memorial Preserve.

Alison Herrell, the Vermont Chapter's AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator, works closely with the LEAF interns.

Celine Martinez and Dana Christian-Warner share a swing on a Vermont summer day.


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