For the last month and a half ACE has sent me to many incredible work sites. I have built fences in Carl Sandburg, did trail work along the Blue Ridge Park, and finally for the last two weeks I have been doing ecological restoration all throughout Maryland. This month would be the first time I did this type of work. I was both apprehensive, but also super stoked for this opportunity. I was excited to be going to a new place for the month and being able to see some amazingly historic sites. As we got down to the nitty gritty of the work I truly discovered a passion for it. I loved planting trees, learning how to ID various plants, and even cut out invasives. Every aspect of the work had me so stoked to get out of bed in the morning. Before ACE I assumed restoration was just fixing old historic buildings from falling down, but as it turns out it is so much more. From planting trees in a civil war battlefield to return it to its original state to getting rid of invasive species, the options are endless.
Working directly with the national park service we have the opportunity to network and learn from some of the coolest people in the industry. Our first day of work one of the rangers at Monocacy took us on a dendrology hike and gave us a crash course in tree ID. Since we were spending the next month planting trees they decided to show us some tips and tricks in learning how to tell them apart. It was somethimg I have never done before, but I’m learning! The actual was even more amazing. I mean how cool is it that I got to help plant around 700 trees in two weeks! We have gone to monocacy National Battlefield, the C&O Canal, and Harpers Ferry, so you could say my “office” is pretty amazing. Though it is a completely different vibe from trail work it is still unbelievable. The history of the sites is endless, the crew I have the pleasure of working with are amazimg, and the work we’re doing is making a difference in the world.
Each day when I plant another tree I get a giddy feeling knowing I am doing something to help the ecosystem. Restoration is a line of work that truly matters. I am so happy I stumbled upon it and could see myself doing this for a long time. I love working with plants, soil, and my hands. It is an amazing feeling.