Green Mountain Conservancy will bring a cohort of at-risk youth to the Deer Run Nature Preserve to reclaim a wetland from invasive plants so they can 1. learn critical work skills, 2. be introduced to an iconic wilderness setting, 3. recognize that they can protect the environment and promote resilience against climate change; and 4. understand that, with their peers, they will be the stewards of this preserve into the future.
The problem is two-fold: 1. at-risk youth in our community would benefit from a program that introduces them to critical job development skills and develops their environmental awareness, and 2. there is a wetland in the Deer Run Nature Preserve that is being severely compromised by the growth of invasive Glossy Buckthorn.
This project will solve these problems by: 1. giving the young people a supervised paid work experience that includes work-related instruction, support from highly qualified adults and immersion in a project that has clear benefit to the environment and the public, and 2. removing the invasive species from the wetland by cutting and pulling, and planting replacement native species such as alder and willow.
Fifteen young people will have developed skills, values and appreciation needed to protect the land and provide resilience against climate change for this Preserve, as well as the environment as a whole, into the future. They will gain work-related skills that includes teamwork, leadership and knowledge of the environment which will serve them throughout their lives. A 10 acre wetland will be restored to its natural condition allowing native plants and animals to flourish.