by: Madeline Onstott; Crewmember 2016, Crew Leader 2017
Working for the Wyoming Conservation Corps, an AmeriCorps program, has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I served as a crewmember last summer and enjoyed it so much I wanted to be a crew leader for this season.
Although I do not recall having a favorite hitch from last summer, there are several different projects that I enjoyed working on. The crew that I was on planted 3,800 ponderosa pine saplings on a severely burnt landscape. We also removed over six miles of fence in order to enhance sage grouse habitat near Meeteetse, Wyoming. Our final project was to work on developing a new trail in the Bighorn Mountains where we were fortunate to see multiple elk every day. Aside from these projects, we were able to work on state historic sites, fixing up camp sites and venture all over the beautiful state of Wyoming.
Aside from working on awesome conservation projects, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to work along side professionals from the USFS, BLM, and the Nature Conservancy.
This season I have had the opportunity to build several raised garden beds for local community gardens in Laramie. I really enjoy this work because I get to help provide spaces for people in the community to grow their own food. It is yet another opportunity provided by the WCC that will have a positive impact on the environment, but also the community.
I am incredibly happy to be back with WCC as a crew leader so that I can continue working on conservation projects alongside others who are passionate about the environment and being apart of nature without causing a negative impact.