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Thursday, April 26, 2012

ECHO E-Team at the Intervale

What's a great way to spend an E-Team (Environmental Team) meeting on a perfect spring day? Go on a field trip to the Intervale Conservation Nursery! Julia VanderWoude (ECHO's Education Intern from UVM), reflects on her time leading  members of ECHO’s teen leadership and environmental science program at the  Intervale where they got a taste of a different aspect of environmental stewardship in Burlington.
By Julia VanderWoude

Even though all of our E-Teamers are from the Burlington area, only about half the group had been to the Intervale before last week to volunteer or explore. We received a quick tour of the property from Seth Gillim, the Intervale’s Assistant Manager, and got a chance to talk to him about the impacts of last spring’s flooding on the Winooski River and the Intervale’s farms, as well as the history of the area and some of the riparian species we were seeing. The E-Teamers had some great questions for him and were especially interested in the fact that the Intervale did much of their harvesting via canoe last year.

After the tour, the E-Teamers jumped right into the service task that had been given to them. They spent some time picking up branches in the recently tilled rows being prepped for tree seedling planting. A few E-Teamers also helped lay drip lines down the rows of new seedlings. Some of the E-Teamers commented that it was a chance to see the “manual labor” side of environmental stewardship, something that they don’t get a lot of while interacting with visitors inside ECHO. I enjoyed getting to have fun conversations with E-Teamers while we worked and enjoyed the spectacular blue skies.

To round out the field trip, we took a walk through the Intervale’s greenhouse, which gave the E-Team a chance to see the seedlings that would eventually be going into the ground in the field on which they had just worked. E-Teamers thoroughly enjoyed making that connection, and now they are looking forward to our upcoming field trips, including canoeing and sailing on Lake Champlain!
I can't wait either!

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