David Lappin and Kallie Clapper, Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s 2015 Conservation Interns, recently finished their summer internship and reflected on their time spent in Grand Lake Stream:
After a very short, and very special eight weeks, we unfortunately must end our time in Grand Lake Stream. In a place that has held true to its traditions and history for many years, it is amazing how quickly our own time has passed. The welcome we received from this outstanding community made our stay both gratifying and memorable.
We spent our time at the Downeast Lakes Land Trust getting involved in many different projects and programs that exposed us to a variety of experiences within the community and in the lakes, streams, and forests. We enjoyed many mornings helping Colin Brown, the Education and Outreach Manager, with an assortment of educational programs teaching youth about the rich history and tradition of the Downeast Lakes Region. These programs covered everything from Cooking a Shore Lunch to Water Color Painting. The wide range of topics supported many different interests and covered many different subjects. We, too, took away many lessons about the traditions and history of the area from these programs.
We enjoyed many of the public programs hosted by DLLT, such as the Perseid Meteor Shower Party and the Moonlight Paddle on Big Musquash Stream. These were great events that we were lucky to be a part of and it was wonderful to meet people from the community in a more relaxed setting.
Out in the forests, we spent many days maintaining the hiking trails within the Farm Cove Community Forest. We hiked the trails to clear fallen trees and new growth, and we replaced the existing paint blazes with blue metal trail tags. We hope that the new tags will serve as a more reliable and permanent trail marker for many years to come. We also hope that the cleared trails will inspire visitors and locals to hike and explore the amazing forests and lakes of the region.
In another new project, we helped to create, plan, and deploy 25 geocaches in the Farm Cove Community Forest as part of the Downeast Lakes Geocache Challenge. We planned and placed the geocaches to feature different historical, ecological, and geological points of interest in the area. We also placed geocaches in special interest areas and DLLT project areas. Each geocache contains an educational explanation about the area where it was placed, with a goal to educate and inform people about the Farm Cove Community Forest. This was a large project that helped us to learn about the region as we worked. We hope that people will enjoy finding them as much as we enjoyed hiding them!
Of all the experiences in our eight week stay, we found that the most impressive part of working with the Downeast Lakes Land Trust was the collaborative effort of the entire community achieve a common vision. We had never worked in a place in which the community played such an integral part in successful conservation. We were lucky to meet so many people who are passionate about conserving and protecting the resources of the Downeast Lakes Region. We were truly fortunate to take part in such a grand effort, and to enjoy such an exceptional community. As we move on in our careers, the people and experiences from DLLT and Grand Lake Stream will forever stay with us.