Tiffany Smith, 17, from Brooklyn.
After spending the majority of their internship in the Puget Sound lowlands, the girls today ventured up into the North Cascades, a dramatic mountain landscape with peaks towering more than 9,000 feet. They stayed at the North Cascades Institute, a special place dedicated to conservation through education. People of all ages come here to explore one of the wildest, most biologically diverse landscapes in North America.
On this day we drove up to the North Cascades National Park, where we worked with the YCC (Youth Conservation Corps), where we met Julie who works for the NCI (North Cascades Institute). We did weed pulling and help the students restore the beauty of a historical building. The work was fun and at times challenging, especially when we lopped a tree down. Our mentor Erin had a bee attack which was sad and at the same time funny. We also learned a lot from the students around, like how they got into the YCC. The sad part was that just when we were about to get friendly it was time to leave.
We then drove further to the North Cascade Institute, where we had dinner, which was very good. Later we went into a classroom where a professor/scientist taught us about the dams that were built in the 20th Century and how it relates to the development of electricity in Washington State. We spent the night in one of the dorms of the North Cascades Institute. —Tiffany Smith
Tiffany Smith, Tiana Cruz and Khadijah Michael are spending three weeks in Washington as part of The Nature Conservancy’s LEAF program, which provides paid internships to high school youth. You can read about their adventures in this daily updated blog.