2023 Land Stewards Field Note: Grace Leonard

by | Field Notes, Land Stewards, LS 2023

I’ve spent the past six months as an Americorps intern working for a trail crew in the Forest Service, and I can easily say that it has truly been the most fun chapter of my life so far. The season went by so fast that it’s hard to believe we actually accomplished everything that we did during that time. I feel so incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to be in such a beautiful place while learning new skills and progressing my career. The people I have met here in the agency are amazing and have been a pleasure to work with and learn from. I’m excited to have found a program that reignited my passion for environmental fieldwork. I have gained so much from being here, not just on a professional level but on a personal level as well. Being on this crew has taught me the value of teamwork and how each person brings something unique to the table. I feel better equipped both physically and mentally to deal with challenges and solve problems. I have so many new skills that I can’t wait to take with me and develop further in a lifelong career. I really enjoyed being with the Forest Service, and my goal going forward is to pursue more job opportunities within that agency. This internship has been such a great foot-in-the-door experience and has allowed me to have good connections within the agency and start to form an idea of where I might fit in if I stick with it. I’m sad that the season has come to an end and that I’m leaving this beautiful place and the people I’ve grown so close to, but I know I’ll be back soon, and I’ll be keeping in touch with my crew for a good long time. I’m so appreciative of all the staff at MAI and my service site for being so supportive and doing everything possible to make this the best experience. I know that regardless of what comes next for me in my career, this experience will play a role in who I am going forward.