Sault College and will be continuing my studies in Environmental Science at Algoma University.
My work experience with The Kensington Conservancy was unique, very informative, and I’m sure I will be using much of the knowledge I gained in my future endeavours. Although it wasn’t the focus of my particular position, I was able to learn about the administrative side of things through observation and asking many questions which my coworkers Carter Dorscht and Corinne Wilkerson were always so helpful to answer. The acquisition of the Gravel Point Preserve offered many insights into how land trusts work which, as someone going into the environmental field, I am grateful to have a deeper understanding of.
I was mainly tasked with the preparation and running of the youth activities TKC offers over the summer alongside my coworker Bella who was a joy to work with. Both the TKC Junior Explorer and Explorer Summer Day Camp programs were fun challenges to tackle, and I was able to use many of the things I had learned at Sault College when planning the activities. Things like insect and plant identification often came in handy, and it was cool to see kids with so much curiosity for such things. In my opinion, keeping young people interested and connected with their natural environment is integral to the future of land stewardship. I think the public outreach and youth programs TKC participates in are a great way to include the community and engage, and I’ve found that everyone I talked to was always very appreciative of the kind of work that we do.
Monitoring the many beautiful protected properties at TKC was such a privilege. On days out in the field, I would often send a photo to friends or family and say “this is my office today”. I was able to deepen my knowledge of local flora and fauna, gaining a special interest in the bumble bees and mosses of the region. Ripple Rock Preserve and the Hole in the Wall Easement were my favourite properties, the latter of which had an incredible wetland where I’m sure I could have spent a few more hours exploring. I also had the pleasure to meet and speak with many interesting people over the summer with whom I had plenty of meaningful conversations about environmental work and the like. The longer I’m in it, the more it becomes apparent that somehow everyone in the environmental field knows each other, so I’m sure I’ll run into some of you again.
The work that The Kensington Conservancy does is incredibly important and has proven to be very meaningful to a lot of people. I am so glad to have been able to take part in it for a short summer and wish TKC all the best in the future.
Thank you to Carter and Corinne for showing me the ropes and for being a great, supportive team to work with!
In my short time with The Kensington Conservancy, I have been able to explore almost all 13 of our nature preserves/easements and it has been such a great learning experience. Prior to this, whenever I went out on a hike, I was just there for the view at the top and the exercise along the way (and while I will never be at Carter's level of outdoor explorer, I now appreciate much more a good nature hike and logging my findings into iNaturalist to look back at). I learned all about the different species of ladybugs (there are 900+ worldwide, which blew my mind!). And we did a lot of work in our pollinator garden planting species that will help to attract bees, butterflies, and moths. We also got to spend some good time exploring the newest property on St. Joseph Island, the Gravel Point Preserve, which was cool to be able to see all the different species living and growing there.
The majority of my focus was on organizing and implementing programming for both the TKC Junior Explorers program as well as the Explorer Summer Day Camp we ran. I worked alongside Roxane to be able to plan some really awesome outings and activities for the kids this summer. Being able to welcome kids back to TKC Junior Explorers for the first time since 2019 was amazing. The kids loved being able to come each week and learn about the outdoors and get out and explore. The response we had for both programs was amazing and I am so excited for it to continue to grow in the coming years and for The Kensington Conservancy to be able to continue to pass on the knowledge and love of the outdoors to many more kids!
Over the summer months we were also able to host and attend lots of community events including guided hikes and paddling events, community parades, and participate in the Sustain Algoma Expo. Being able to get out and explore the Algoma region in different ways and interact with the community has been one of my favourite parts of my time with The Kensington Conservancy.
Thank you again to Carter and Corinne for the work you both do with and for TKC and for giving me the opportunity to work with the team!