Summer Steward Internship
Since 2014, our Summer Steward Internship has been engaging local high school students in multiple aspects of land trust work. The focus of the program is the sustainable stewardship of the Land Trust’s 400 acre network of open space. Interns spend much of their time learning how to steward land, and then executing projects that help the land trust and the New Canaan community. Projects frequently include building and maintaining trails, planting trees and shrubs, controlling invasive species, and creating habitat for local wildlife.
Environmental education is also a significant component of the program. Each week, interns participate in a field trip designed to teach them about the broad field of conservation. Field trips have included visits to wildlife rehabilitation centers, arboreta, sustainable farms, urban parks, research stations, and more. Back at the Land Trust, work days are often supplemented by on-site visits from professionals in the environmental field, including arborists, foresters, historians, stone masons, and botanists.
By the end of the month-long internship, interns leave with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the importance of land conservation. Some of our interns have even gone on to pursue studies and careers in the environmental field, and credit the Summer Steward Internship for getting them started on that track.
For their hard work, interns are compensated at a weekly rate for their participation in the program. Interns also develop new friendships, professional connections, and excellent work experience.
“This internship has gone above and beyond what we expected for our son. It has been fun, organized, and educational. Thanks to the NCLT staff and other adults and volunteers for sharing your knowledge, passion, and talents with the interns. It is a wonderful lesson in stewardship.”
“One of the best programs I have come across in New Canaan”
“I think that the program offered a good balance of work, education, discussion, and fun. I came in the first day not knowing anyone, and by the end of the program, many of the other kids became my friends. It was also a nice environment to work in as it was educational and fun while we were also seeing the impact we were making on the property.”
“I would recommend to a friend 100%…You learn lots of new things and sometimes get pushed outside of your comfort zone. That allows you to grow as a human, and its a great experience”