Volunteer of the Month
During the fall season, the Maine Conservation Corps is still hard at work on projects all across the State of Maine. Our members are also still actively working with Volunteers from local schools and communities.
October’s Volunteer of the Month is Jennifer Riefler from Verona Island. Jennifer has been helping Leah Beck’s Trail Crew on the Stuart Gross Trail on Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust’s 4,500-acre Wildlands property in Orland. Jennifer’s presence has been both educational and entertaining because of her developed story telling skills and extensive knowledge of ecology. Much to the delight of Leah’s team, she also brought them scones.
Jennifer has been a volunteer with Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust (GPMCT) for many years. She currently chairs the Stewardship Committee and plays an instrumental role in organizing all of their most important events. Cheri Domina, Executive Director of GPMCT, had this to say about Jennifer: “Her impact extends across Hancock County, from the Bucksport area to MDI, where she’s a science teacher at MDI High School and has inspired countless students to get outdoors. She’s currently working on a trail there that would connect the school to conservation land beyond.”
Jennifer has volunteered with the Maine Conservation Corps in the past, and her son served as a MCC Field Crew Member in 2005. When asked about Leah’s crew, Jennifer had this to say: “I have to tell you that you have a really fine crew out there on the Stuart Gross Trail. They are so welcoming and so competent and are working at a faster pace than we expected. They keep the office clean and tidy. Leah is a good crew leader; she keeps everyone focused and keeps spirits up.”
Jennifer’s experience with the land trust has left her with a very deep and heart felt connection to the land. “I love walking into the heart of the Wildlands, into the bottom of the Hothole Valley, at night in the late fall and winter, under the crystal clear night sky and the deep darkness all around, and listen for the coyotes. ”
Thanks to Jennifer and Leah’s crew for a job well done on the Stuart Gross Trail.