This week was our first week spent almost entirely inside. On Monday we participated in a day long retreat for NR207 with Kaylynn Sullivan TwoTrees and Zach Ispa-Landa. We met in the Green House, circling up and initially beginning with a few exercises to perfect our listening and understanding skills. We continued on to collectively determine the various ways in which we are all different and similar. The main intent of the retreat was to determine how differences lead to preferences to privilege to power, and then the cycle continues. We discussed how differences in race, gender, sexual orientation, and class can lead to privilege and power, or a lack of power.
Tuesday through Thursday we were hard at work compiling our data and writing inventory reports and management plans for our respective towns. When we walked in our meeting room on Tuesday to crack down on work we were pleasantly surprised to walk into a large room with floor to ceiling stained glass windows and high ceilings. This historical room was inspiring to work in as we were making our own history. The pictures below display the LANDS crew hard at work.
|Organizing data in the Dewey Lounge in Old Mill|
|Report writing in Aiken|
On Wednesday afternoon Grant and Chris taught the group about how to correctly prepare for backpacking. They taught us how to pack lightly and efficiently, the importance of layers, and how to distribute weight in a pack to ensure balance and safety. They taught us this lesson to prepare for our 3 night backpacking trip at Stratton Pond next week. Chris and Grant brought some visual aids to help us learn. Unfortunately Dolphina the blow up dolphin did not make the cut for appropriate items to pack. Maybe next trip Dolphina.
|Grant and Chris the backpacking gurus with Dolphina|
Also on Wednesday to give us a break from the indoors and our computers, we were surprised with a trip to Ethan Allen Park to meet with Wes Testo. Wes is a graduate student doing his research work on fern evolution.
|Wes teaching the group|
It was very kind of Wes to take time out of his day to meet with us and share some of his fern identification wisdom with us. We were all relieved to find out that fern identification is easier than tree identification, something we had done for a three full days the week before.
|Wes teaching us what characteristics to look for to ID ferns|
|Some innovative techniques were used to best teach us about some of the smallest ferns that grow in the driest places|
Looking through the pictures from last week, this gem was discovered. Maintaining the notion of LNT (Leave No Trace) we used all of our resources, including the not-so-perfect pictures. After a long week of compiling data and writing inventory reports and management plans, LANDS has a bit of comic relief with a picture of the Middlebury crew.
We sure made some frond memories this week!
Brought to you with love from Olivia and James