This summer, the Columbia Land Conservancy launched an exciting partnership with the Greenagers, a youth environmental organization based in the Berkshires that offers land stewardship training and summer employment opportunities. Since July 1, 2013, a seven person crew of young people ages 15 through 19 has been cutting a new trail as part of the expansion of CLC’s Round Ball Conservation Area in Ancram. The community is invited to join this dynamic, skilled, and hard-working team for a Community Trail Day on Sunday, August 11th, from 9-11am. Volunteers will be able to see first-hand the swift and impressive progress made on the new trail by the Greenagers, and pitch in to bring it to completion.
Realizing the project could be a perfect fit for the Greenagers Community Work Initiative, CLC reached out to Greenagers’ founder and director, Will Conklin, when it began planning the expansion of Round Ball. The Community Work Initiative offers youth paid summer employment, where they learn everything from how to work as a team, to how to build a bog bridge, to resume writing skills, and the value of fitness and being outdoors. Conklin is particularly interested in the value and power of youth working “in their own backyard” so that they can experience the connection between land and community, values embraced by CLC as well. One crew member, Justin, 17, expressed that the most satisfying aspect of the Round Ball trail work is “seeing the progress and knowing that when I’m older this is still going to be here and I can bring my future kids out here.”