I became an intern for the Barnstable Land Trust after finishing my junior year at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. After taking a course in Environmental Science, I wanted to do something that had to do with the environment and Cape Cod – since my family and has spent summers here for generations.
I was able to get an internship this summer doing land management of the properties BLT owns, as well as other tasks in the office including updating reports, helping plan events, and asking for sponsorship from local businesses. Although I did not know a lot about land trusts, I was excited to start and help out any way I could. After being at BLT for over a month, I had learned more than I could have ever imagined. I need to recognize my boss, Casey Dannhauser, who spent an entire summer driving around with me in her tiny blue car, blasting country music, and giving me life advice as we surveyed over 100 BLT-owned properties.
I not only learned about the importance of land trusts but also the difference between types of pine trees, how to keep going even when it is over 90 degrees or when we are covered in mosquitoes, and how to roll up a manual window (a skill I have not yet mastered but greatly improved upon). Casey is a jack-of-all-trades, including botanist, teacher, land manager, Staples runner, human GPS and – my personal favorite – lumberjack. The work I accomplished this summer would never have been possible without her, and for that I am extremely grateful.
The biggest takeaway I have from my internship is how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to see the beauty of open spaces, especially on Cape Cod. I have been here my whole life and never truly left my little village or my one beach. This summer I have seen environments that I never would have been able to see, much less appreciate, had I not been part of such an incredible organization. I truly view Cape Cod in a way I never have before, which is something I will continue to appreciate for the rest of my life.
The work we did was not easy. It was bottles of bug spray and sunscreen, dealing with neighbors stubborn with their own agendas, properties that held piles of yard dumping among their beautiful ecosystems, bug bites and bee stings, hard work, and manual labor. But it was an experience I would not change or trade for anything in the world.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of an organization as important and spectacular as Barnstable Land Trust. It has been a summer that will continue to impact the person I am as I choose my path for the future.