By Ally Audia, 2022 Huron Pines AmeriCorps Member, Legacy Preserve Stewardship Technician
From May to October of this year, I was honored to be the first Huron Pines AmeriCorps member serving at Legacy Land Conservancy! As an individual who from a young age has been passionate about the conservation of Michigan’s natural resources, the Huron Pines AmeriCorps position at Legacy was a perfect fit.
AmeriCorps is a national service program that brings dedicated citizens together to tackle the country’s most burgeoning issues within health, education, disaster services, and environmental stewardship. Huron Pines AmeriCorps is an AmeriCorps program started in 2007 that focuses on developing conservation leaders in Michigan through volunteer engagement, habitat restoration, environmental stewardship, and improved environmental knowledge. After earning my Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, serving as Legacy’s Preserve Stewardship Technician gave me the ideal opportunity to explore the conservation field while serving southern Michigan, where I grew up.
During my time, I joined the Preserve Stewardship Manager and seasonal field crew in the stewardship and management of Legacy’s nature preserves. Together we performed invasive species treatment and removal, and completed preserve infrastructure maintenance. We removed hundreds of pounds of invasive species, repaired a bridge and a bench, removed a truckload of fencing, built a kiosk, and painted new blazes along all preserve trails.
Most notably, we completed Phase 1 of the Shatter Family Preserve Trail Project by adding 362 feet of boardwalk along the wetter areas of the trail system. Over three days, Kyler, Chris, and I staged lumber, cut materials to size, and built the boardwalk. We finished with shoulder bruises and back aches. But knowing our hard work improves access for the community, it was totally worth it.
Throughout my service term it is clear to me that Huron Pines AmeriCorps and Legacy share many of the same overall values, especially in their commitment to conservation. I am thankful to both organizations for an amazing opportunity and giving me the chance to work with great people. I look forward to the continued collaboration between Huron Pines and Legacy, and I am proud to have been a part of something so special!