This summer, East meets Midwest at Nature Conservancy preserves in the Mukwonago River area, and they are buzzing with youthful activity.
Four New York City students who attend high schools for environmental studies are working side by side with four interns from Wisconsin high schools to help the Conservancy manage its land at Lulu Lake, Crooked Creek and the Newell and Ann Meyer Nature preserves. They are removing invasive plants like bull thistles and a beaver dam, installing a gate and fencing, maintaining trails and conducting aquatic invasive species surveys from canoes.
"From year to year, I'm always impressed at how much our Wisconsin summer interns are able to accomplish,” said Jerry Ziegler, the Conservancy’s Mukwonago Land Steward. “This year has been no exception, and the addition of our LEAF interns has made for an exceptional summer. Like our Wisconsin interns, the LEAF interns have been tireless and unflinching in their efforts. They learned to canoe, snorkel, maneuver a boat and how to preserve and categorize plant specimens for herbariums. They have plunged willingly into wetlands to tackle hybrid cattails, pulled sweet clover for hours on end, helped rebuild a greenhouse and learned why the Conservancy uses prescribed burning. What a great group of young people!"
The students from New York City are part of the Conservancy’s Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program, which is supported by the Toyota USA Foundation. LEAF strives to give urban teens a personal experience in nature and empower the next generation of conservation leaders. Since 1996, LEAF has inspired scores of teens to learn more about conservation and launch careers in science and conservation.
The Wisconsin high school students are part of the Conservancy’s local summer internship program, which has been providing hands-on conservation skills and experience for the past 13 years.
The Nature Conservancy gratefully acknowledges Toyota USA Foundation and Jan and Bill DeAtley for their generous support of the LEAF program in Wisconsin.
For more information, and a slideshow about our interns, visit www.nature.org/wisconsininterns2011.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. 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.
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