What a week it has been at LANDS! We are nearing the end of our nine-week program now and all of the loose ends are starting to come together, a long with a few new beginnings.
Monday, July 25th
This was our first week back form Mount Tabor and everyone is happy to be back in Burlington. We started off the week in the office and began compiling all of our data for the two Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF) projects we did field work for over the past three weeks. First we began working on the Wetlands Delineation Project, for which Mollie Klepeck is the project leader. With her guidance we began working on the final report. This process began by uploading all of our GPS points onto the computer, creating shapefiles from them, and then using the data is Arc GIS to create comprehensive maps of the wetlands we found in GMNF. Our maps will indicate the type of wetland, its size, and location. We focused on relating the crucial data to the GMNF and creating outstanding maps for them to use in their management plans of the wilderness areas we surveyed.
Tuesday, July 26th
On Tuesday we began working on the report for our other GMNF project, the Informal Campsite Assessment project. This report followed a similar format as the Wetland Delineation project and required a lot of mapmaking, so we spent some more time using GIS. Abby Okoniewski and Raymond Waweru were the project leaders and helped us all stay on task. We also began our service projects for the GreenHouse. We had the pleasure of painting an Adirondack chair to be used as GreenHouse furniture, and were asked to varnish a large wooden table built by GreenHouse residents. It was a nice break for us to explore our creativity in the midst of report mania.
Wednesday, July 27th
Wednesday was a great day as we finished our last day of surveying for the Informal Campsite Assessment project. We went back out into the wilderness areas, split up into three groups, and surveyed one last batch of campsites. The weather was cool and sunny and we had an all around good day. We are all going to miss the Green Mountain National Forest.
Thursday, July 28th
Thursday we came back to the office to wrap up both of the GMNF reports and begin putting finishing touches on all of the summer’s projects. The Rockville Market Farm report met its last stages of editing and formatting, the Colloredo-Mansfeld Project neared completion, and the final maps for the Burlington Parks and Recreation project began to materialize. It’s hitting everyone that our time with LANDS is limited; it’s hard to believe that LANDS is almost over. We are all going to miss each other and this experience.
But in the face of an ending, we all began something new. It is time for our small team projects! Some groups began their STP’s on Thursday, meeting with community partners or beginning fieldwork. Tanya and Story are doing a survey of non-native invasive species for Lake Champlain Land Trust at the Zen Center property in Shelburne, VT. Isabel, Colin and Nick are working with the Stowe Land Trust and completing a wildlife habitat assessment of Kirchner Woods in Stowe, VT. Abby and Marisa are also working with Stowe Land Trust, but they are taking a different approach and surveying for non-native invasive species in Kirchner Woods. Lastly, Mollie and Ray are surveying for non-native invasive species for the Native Conservancy at Raven Ridge, which falls in between Monkton, Hinesburg and Charlotte, VT. Everyone is really excited to take ownership of a project and put into practice all of the skills we have learned this summer.
Friday, July 29th
Today we continued doing work for our small team projects. All of the groups took today to really get into our fieldwork, and we put in a full day of surveying and data collection. We are all leaving this weekend feeling good and looking forward to some R&R before LANDS’ final week begins on Monday!