Hello for the last time, and welcome to the final week of the CLIP blog 2023! I hope everyone has enjoyed reading our posts this summer. I already can’t wait to do my fair share of keeping up with the CLIPterns next year! The summer season is coming to a close, and we’ve been reflecting on all the work we’ve done as a group. But before we can dwell on it too much, we had some final days of site work to get done.
On Monday, we finished up the turf grass project at Apple Creek. What was once a patch of green, mowed turf grass is now a patch of dry, dead turf grass. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to burn the area before seeding so we had to work with what was left. Once the seed was down, we covered the area in erosion blankets to protect the seed from water runoff and animals. After freezing for the winter, the seed should begin germinating and growing in the spring of 2024. Hopefully we’ll be seeing updates on the site next year! In the afternoon, we collected Golden Alexander seed (Zizia aurea) at TLC’s Tauck conservation easement.
Tuesday morning we focused on prep for our graduation celebration at the end of the week. We made maps, signs and a slideshow. All very exciting, but the most rewarding part was getting the final count of invasive management area covered by our intern crew this season- 21.5 acres! In the afternoon, we had our final career panel. We met with many different professionals in different areas of natural sciences. It was really cool to hear about their educational and professional backgrounds.
On Wednesday, we went tree climbing in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. It was so much fun to just hang around 30 feet in the air! We were climbing using a basic rope configuration that arborists use while climbing and chainsawing branches high up in the trees. Honestly, it was one of the best activities of the whole summer, and I hope the future interns are able to do it as well. Although I would definitely need some more practice at it before I’d trust myself with a chainsaw up there. Car sickness and trucks filled to the brim aside, it was a wonderful experience that I urge everyone to try if they get the chance.
Thursday was the final workday of the season for us interns. It was a very full circle moment as it was back at Tryon, which is where we had our first workday of the summer. Some of us were able to get in a final few hours of chainsaw practice, while the rest were hauling wood to the fires. The whole crew was then treated to a lunch at a nearby diner, which was much appreciated! Once back at Hennen, we had some final herbicide cleanup to do. Sitting here writing this, I can’t believe we’re already done with our final day of actual work. I can speak for us all when I say it’s hard to believe the summer, and CLIP, are already almost over. I’m looking forward to our graduation party tomorrow!
We wrapped up the summer on Friday with a short graduation ceremony and a fun-filled potluck party. Some of the other interns we worked with this summer stopped by for the party, along with a whole bunch of TLC staff. It was a bittersweet goodbye, a wonderful party, and good food. I had a great summer working with everyone at TLC, and I wish the best for all of the interns moving forward. Have a great rest of the summer and rest of the year, and make sure to check back in for the CLIP 2024 program next summer!