Dear supporters of the New Canaan Land Trust, 

We have just finished week three of the Summer Steward Internship Program! This week was very exciting for multiple reasons; we got to go on two field trips, learn about different non-profits in Connecticut, and got even closer with one another. 

On Monday, we took a field trip to the Connecticut Audubon Society in Fairfield. We learned about how this organization tends to injured birds, as well as how we can protect bird species moving forward through our individual actions. We were able to meet specific birds and learn their stories, as well as receive a walking tour from an Audubon employee on paths that are spectacular for birdwatching. After, our intern Peter Murphy, a native of Fairfield, took us on a hike on his favorite Audubon trail, Deer Meadow. 



After we had lunch at the Audubon Society, we headed back to New Canaan to continue our after storm cleanup projects. We met at the Colhoun Preserve, and worked on cutting branches in the trail down and utilized these materials for log liners. Once we finished trail clearing at Colhoun, we wrapped up the day with a trash pickup. 

On Tuesday, we met at the Silvermine-Fowler preserve to water the enclosed plants. While some interns watered, others did an invasive species sweep and created brush piles and animal habitats out of these plants. After lunch, we headed over to the Firefly preserve to continue building the fence that borders our preserve and other folks properties. Throughout this project, our interns learned how to use a post hole digger, pick ax, and a steel shaft. 

On Wednesday, we went to South Norwalk to work with the Norwalk River Watershed Association for our second field trip of the week! Here, we learned about the work that this organization was doing, the invasive species surrounding the water and which ones we should remove, as well as how to water young and vulnerable trees properly. Our interns loved working by the water, as well as meeting other people who are passionate about the environment and non-profit work. After, we did a trail cleanup of Watson Symington, as some branches and trees have fallen due to the storm we had last week. 

On Thursday, we met at the Still Pond preserve to water Fowler meadow and the enclosed plantings. I taught our interns, Jeronimo and Lorenzo, how to operate the water pump, and they excelled! After lunch, we all split up and went to different properties to collect the sculpture tracking trail cam data. We all had our own property to record data on; all of the interns thoroughly enjoyed this project. 

Friday marks the last day that I would be with Session Two, as because of COVID-19, Skidmore has decided to start two weeks earlier than planned- so I will unfortunately be missing the last week of Session Two. We spent the morning finishing up Trail Cam Data work and replacing camera batteries and SD cards throughout our properties. After, we did an invasive species sweep at the Still Pond Preserve. We also executed our tree measuring project, which was very fun and interesting- the widest circumference tree we found was 22.2 feet! 

I am so grateful for my summer at the New Canaan Land Trust; I’ve learned so much about the environment, trail building and hands on skills, as well as how to lead a group of passionate, young teens effectively. The skills I have learned from this internship as well as the connections I have made will help me exponentially throughout my future. Thank you, New Canaan!