It’s a new year, we have a new name, and new members! Our crew leaders are getting a chance to get their feet wet, organizing and planning orientation as well as wrangling 50 new-to-Austin, new-to-conservation folks. They’ve got 2 great weeks planned, with nature walks, team building exercises, and lots of chainsaw training. Our program set up looks a little different this year, so make sure to check out our Crews page to see who might be doing what, where.
And while our new folks (faces featured below) are hunting down work boots and learning how to properly respond to ‘howdy,’ one of our returning members took the time to reflect on why she is sticking with TxCC:
There is energy in wild places that humans need to find peace. Since a young age, I’ve chased this force and looked for this peace and tried to preserve it. In middle school, I wrote my selectmen to save vernal ponds, cut out invasive bittersweet vines, and strapped on a GPS unit when they were backpack sized. This need to be outside led me to pursue a degree in wildlife conservation. Class work did not agree with me, so I took summers to look for endangered shorebirds and cavity nesting birds. Three months still wasn’t enough, and I signed on to lead a crew with Texas Conservation Corps. After an incredible year cutting tread in Big Bend, reaching out to other Corps, and removing invasive plants with chainsaws, I’m back for more. I want more people to have access to this kind of work. I’m in this for the long haul and coming back this year will help me further my personal goals as well as the goals of my program.
Layla Farahbakhsh, Trails Across Texas