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13 September 2019

Settling in at Eastern Mass Wildlife Refuge Complex

Written by: Evelyn

Hola todos! My name is Gillian, and I’ve been working in Sudbury, MA at the Eastern Massachusetts Wildlife Refuge Complex – part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. I’ve been here three weeks now and am learning so much! My main role as a Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) intern is community outreach and environmental education. From the second day of my job, I’ve had the opportunity to work with students from the local area as well as students from the nearby city. It’s been super awesome to see how the Eastern Mass Refuge Complex is focused on educating urban youth who would not normally get the opportunity to visit a Wildlife Refuge or learn about different conservation efforts. The main activity we have been doing with the student groups is releasing turtles that they took care of this year. These turtles are Blandings turtles that are listed as ‘threatened’ in the state of Massachusetts. The students are helping increase the population by taking care of the turtles when they are young and more vulnerable. By the time they are brought back to the refuge they are bigger and have a better chance of surviving.

Starting in about a week I will be settling into the main project I will be working on this summer. I will be traveling each day to Lowell, MA – a city with large POC and low-SES populations – to work with Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust on their summer-school program. The majority of the students we will be working with come from under-privileged backgrounds, so a continuing education summer program for them is very helpful for their learning. The program runs for six weeks and is focused on environmental education. I’m so excited to meet these students and be a part of their learning experience this summer. I also feel very lucky to be a part of the Refuge’s goal of being a more accessible space to wider or more diverse audiences.

I can’t wait to see what other amazing experiences I have this summer!

MANO Project
is an initiative of Hispanic 
Access Foundation.

P: (202) 640-4342