Trekkers intern experiences inner workings of land conservation efforts

Sun, 02/10/2019 - 4:00pm

ROCKLAND — Trekkers’ high school senior Amanda Chen recently completed a one-week internship with Georges River Land Trust in support of the land trust’s ongoing conservation programming. A student at the School of Math and Science in Limestone, Amanda grew up in Thomaston, and has been connected to Trekkers since middle school.

Trekkers is a nonprofit, outdoor-focused mentoring program based in Rockland that connects young people with caring adults through expeditionary learning, community service and adventure-based education.

Eleven high school seniors have opted into Trekkers LEAP program, where they will be individually placed in 40-hour paid internships in the local business community throughout the winter and spring of 2019. These internships are coordinated by Trekkers Internship Coordinator Cathy Lookabaugh with the assistance of Program Manager Brandon Caron and Program Director Hannah Tannebring Walsh.

The goal of the program is to help students connect their developing interests and passions to real-world employment experiences. 

During her winter break from high school, Amanda wanted an internship experience with a nature-based organization, so Trekkers connected her to Georges River Land Trust, according to a GRLT news release.

“Working for the land trust for one week in January, Amanda was an instant hit at the land trust office, and a big help in many different areas” the release said.

Amanda said, in the release: “My experience at GRLT taught me so much about the land and the functions of a land trust. With my very first day of the internship, I was already outside with the lands committee looking at potential land that could be bought. From there, I experienced first-hand how a land trust determines the value the land is for conservation.

“Later on in the internship, I got to find landowner data for interested regions for conservation. From that, I not only rocked some spreadsheets but I also learned the terminology and all the facts that are considered for every plot of land. Terms such as the mill rate, tree growth, homestead exemption were all foreign to me, but after digging through tax commitment records, deeds, and several tax maps on town websites and in town offices, I know more than my parents.

“The experience at GRLT was extremely valuable, because I was fully immersed on day one and learned so many facts about nature and the paperwork involved with buying and looking at land. I leave the internship after only experiencing just a small fraction of the work, but I admire how much dedication the Georges River Land Trust puts into conserving the environment of the watershed.”

Georges River Land Trust is committed to protecting the ecosystems and traditional heritage of the Georges River watershed region. For additional activities and more information, visit or phone (207) 594-5166.