After two weeks in Washington state, our three LEAF interns have learned a lot about nature. You can tell just be listening to their conversations, according to our staff. They can explain in detail the life cycle of a salmon - using words like “smoltification" - and they can tell you about invasive weeds like Spartina.
The internship so far has sent them hiking in the North Cascades, wading through river channels and boating to Yellow Island Preserve. They’ve pulled weeds, learned to use a GPS and toured local colleges. Tiana even went racing through the mud at the annual Bivalve Bash, a celebration of shellfish and clean water in Puget Sound.
But some of the most poignant experiences have been as simple as lighting a campfire for the first time, gazing at the stars and making their first s’mores.
The girls sent in this blog from an evening at Deception Pass:
Yesterday we did some house cleaning and laundry. We had dinner then decided to build a campfire at Deception Pass to make some s’mores . It was Tiffany’s first s’more and Tiana’s first campfire. After eating and playing around we got a nice view of the stars, which we haven’t seen in a while.
New York residents 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.