My main task for the summer was to visit and monitor each of the nature preserves and easements, as well as document species of flora and fauna on them. Other tasks included trail maintenance of Foster Parkland and Walking Trails, property maintenance for Boyer Preserve and Archibald Homestead, and being a camp leader for Explorer Summer Day Camp.
Having the opportunity to explore the beautiful land preserves was by far my favourite aspect of working for the conservancy and I was able to utilize every skill learned through my college program. Two skills in particular that were greatly refined were plant identification and navigating. I was able to use my plant identification skills daily and learned to identify many more species of plants than the ones learned in college. Navigating became one of my most refined skills having used a combination of a compass and Google Maps. This skill will be one of the most important to have moving forward in my career and I am grateful that this job provided me the opportunity to greatly improve it. The knowledge that I gained for both skills is invaluable.
Of the many memorable moments during my time with the conservancy, the most memorable was spending the day driving the boat to the various island land preserves. It was exciting being able to drive from island to island and gave me much needed experience operating a motorized boat. Fishnet Island Easement and Coatsworth Island Preserve were two of my favourite properties which the conservancy protects.
The most important aspect of the job was being able to be a part of something that is larger than myself. This was the first time in my life where I felt that the work that I was doing had greater meaning than simply earning a paycheck. I chose this area of study with the hopes of contributing to the betterment of the natural environment and working with The Kensington Conservancy provided me with the proof that I made the right decision in career path. I am excited to return to the college in the fall but I am sad that my time with the conservancy is over. I would like to thank Carter Dorscht and the Board of Directors for giving me the opportunity to work for The Kensington Conservancy and am hopeful that I can be a part of the team in the future.
Thank you TKC!
Vincent La Tassa
We got to check it all out first hand and natural, except for all the bug spray. This opportunity working with The Kensington Conservancy has allowed me to challenge myself and push my comfort zone. I learned a lot about the common flora and fauna in the St. Joseph Channel and how to use iNaturalist as a tool to help develop my knowledge of the wildlife wherever it is I go. I always looked forward to coming to work every day and really enjoyed working with this group of people. This opportunity to work with Vince and Corinne Wilkerson has allowed me to learn more about how to operate independently and in a team and strengthen my communication skills. I have learned so much from them during the past eight weeks. It was right to partner us together as we’ve worked so well together and shared many laughs. It felt less like work and more like learning with like-minded individuals that challenged and educated me.
And I will have to say that other then possibly identifying a genetic mutation, the Johnson Township's Christmas in July parade was one of the most memorable experiences of 2021. Not just because we won either. Thanks for allowing me to participate in partnership and representation of the conservancy with summer camp along side the St. Joseph Island Anglers & Hunters Association.
Thank you Carter, I admire your dedication to not only me but the entire team and The Kensington Conservancy.