Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Making a Difference: Kellogg Conservation Center Mentioned in NewPage Paper Corporation's 2011-2012 Sustainable Development Report

The KCC, as the first demonstration site in the Tree as a Crop program, is featured as part of NewPage Corporation's Making a Difference: 2011-2012 Sustainable Development Report.  Click here and scroll all the way down to page 84 to read about the program which was begun on the property in partnership with Rodale Inc., Rodale Institute, and NewPage Corp. to provide ways for farmers and small forest landowners to put trees to work to improve ecosystems and provide healthy prosperity on their land.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Non-traditional Volunteer Opportunities at the KCC

A few moments ago, a local volunteer trail maintainer stopped by to drop off his application for the upcoming chainsaw certification course.  I had been talking with him this past weekend at the Massachusetts AT Volunteer Gathering and it came to light that he was a semi-retired plumbing and heating specialist.  Managing an ageing historic house happens to be among my various duties on this property and my eyes lit up when he told me this.  I am always looking for AT volunteers with a skill set that is useful to the Kellogg Conservation Center outside of the traditional trail work that goes on along the AT.  In this case, after climbing around the basement for 15 minutes or so, he was able to give me some inside tips and discuss options for updating our heating system that will potentially save us some money on a short return.  As he was leaving, I reminded him to keep up with his hours that he spent driving to/from the KCC and also the time he had spent on site with me.  All are valid to be counted at the end of the year, although they would not be submitted to the National Park Service since the KCC is solely ATC-owned.  Regardless, ATC wants to know about volunteer hours such as this.  I think this is a great indicator of what volunteerism looks like moving into the future.  We need folks with a variety of skill sets (gardening, heating/plumbing, engineering, carpentry, forestry, etc) to round out our volunteer corps and provide unique solutions to problems we face day-to-day on the trail and on surrounding properties such as the KCC.  If you think you have a skill that might be useful, and feel like joining us, please do not hesitate to speak up and volunteer your time and services.  We need you!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Conservation Department Retreat 2013

This past week, ATC's Conservation Department staff met in Shepherdstown, West Virginia at the US Fish and Wildlife's National Conservation Training Center for a 3 day meeting that focused on bringing new staff up to speed with the inner workings of our department and an update for policies and planning for 2013.  Hawk Metheny (Regional Director), Matt Stevens (Conservation Resources Mgr-north), Adam Brown (Conservation Resources Mgr - south), and Alison Scheiderer (Boundary Program Manager - north) all attended from New England, as well as Clare Long who is one of our federal partners and works jointly for NPS and the US Forest Service out of the White Mountain National Forest in NH.  We were able to highlight some of the exciting things happening at the KCC during our part of the regional office reports on Wednesday.  Below are two pictures taken during a group hike to an overlook of Harpers Ferry and the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers - the larger group is all of the ATC Conservation Department (as well as one or two of our federal partners) and the second photo is of the ATC New England staff and federal partner (Clare Long, center).