“I knew I was taking a risk by moving all the way out here from St. Louis, but it has paid off through the skills and knowledge that I have gained and the welcoming community I’ve gotten to be a part of during my term of service.” – Jill Maes
As my time with Capitol Land Trust (CLT) comes to an end, I can’t help but think about how far I have come and the things I have learned since I began my AmeriCorps position last September. I knew I was taking a risk by moving all the way out here from St. Louis, but it has paid off through the skills and knowledge that I have gained and the welcoming community I’ve gotten to be a part of during my term of service. Capitol Land Trust is truly a great organization and it is inspiring how the community supports local conservation. I couldn’t have chosen a better organization for my last term of service with AmeriCorps. Everyone has been a wealth of knowledge and encouraging so that I could be successful.
Because of this position, I have gotten to see so many cool properties that CLT manages. I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite property because they are all unique and offer differing views of this beautiful region. Volunteers have gotten the opportunity to visit 26 conserved lands during work parties hosted during my service term. Hosting volunteer events was always the highlight of my week and I will miss having them. It was a lot fun to see new and recurring volunteers of all ages work together on a common goal to protect and care for the natural land. Also, I have had a great time learning new skills, like backing up a truck with a water trailer attached and hooking a hose up to a fire hydrant.
I’ve had many memorable moments during restoration volunteer events, and I have been lucky enough to have been supported by over 250 volunteers. A restoration event that sticks out in my mind was at Capitol Land Trust’s Hilburn Preserve in February. This event was the same day that the snowstorm rolled into the region. Eight hard-working volunteers planted 225 trees along Goldsborough Creek. Luckily, we were able to finish an hour early. By the time everyone had left, there was a good dusting of snow on the ground.
I’m touched by all the support I have received from the volunteers in the community and I couldn’t have tackled all the projects without them. I am so grateful for all the opportunities to grow and learn that this position has provided. I’m excited to see what comes next for me. I hope to stay in the Pacific Northwest so that I can continue to pursue a career in conservation.
– Jill Maes
A huge congratulations to Jill for completing her AmeriCorps service term and thank you for your service to Capitol Land Trust and our community!