Posted July 21, 2020
Written by Mike Perrin
A Farewell to Wareham
This Friday is the last day of my TerraCorps service year with the Wareham Land Trust, so I am taking this opportunity to reflect on my experience. Over the past 11-months, I have seen sunrises and sunsets over Buzzards Bay, I have seen migrating songbirds and seaducks come and go, and I have seen accomplished faces of volunteers standing over a newly cleared trail. I have heard the excitement over the expansion of conserved lands and mileage of trails, I have heard the screeches of terns and songs of Ovenbirds, and I have heard the noon lunchtime alarm that never ceased to frighten me. I have felt the softness of pitch pine needles over sandy soils underneath my boots, I have felt the salty sea winds, and I have felt the warmth of the conservation community in Wareham. As I continue in a career in conservation, I will cherish these memories and associate them with the growth and learning completed during my first full-time, year-round position that I held after graduating from college.
Along the way, I developed useful skills in land management and stewardship, realized the importance of volunteers, and established a clearer direction for myself in the environmental field. I could not have done this alone. Thanks to the support and flexibility of the Wareham Land Trust, I was able to explore my passions through a variety of varying tasks, projects, and workshops. The Board of Directors, notably our President, Kathy Pappalardo, assisted in the development of projects and service work, and showed appreciation for my commitment. My supervisor, Amy Pettigrew, provided wonderful guidance to support these projects, demonstrated great compassion and patience, and encouraged me to follow my interests while also keeping me on track. Throughout the year, I was supported by other local organizations including Town of Wareham, Mass Audubon, Wareham Week, and the Buzzards Bay Coalition. I was also supported by volunteers at trail events, educational walks, and programmatic workshops, including through the OspreyWatch and Reserve Ranger projects. I have grown into a more well-rounded trail steward, a more engaging educator, and a more capable employee. I am very thankful for the efforts and engagement of the Wareham Land Trust and associated volunteers and organizations for shaping this year and producing a meaningful, impactful, and worthwhile service year.
General highlights of my service year include getting familiar with WLT trails and properties, filling the tiny computer lab in the Wareham High School for the Osprey Hour, and Friday morning work days at Mass Audubon’s Great Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. Wildlife highlights include spotting overwintering waterfowl like Common Loons and a Harlequin Duck by The Narrows, passing an eastern box turtle walking Mary’s Trail at Douglas S. Westgate Conservation Area, and the diversity of butterflies seen at Tweedy and Barnes and Marks Cove Conservation Areas that inspired me to follow butterfly watching as a hobby. Some WLT highlights include hearing countless conservation stories from the Board of Directors, playing board games with my fellow TerraCorps Members, and meeting and developing relationships with other conservation-minded volunteers and WLT members.
Thank you to all of those who made this year so special. Thank you to Wareham Land Trust for the opportunity to serve in this wonderful area. Thank you to the Board of Directors, Land Acquisition and Stewardship Committee, Outreach Committee, and the TerraCrew for your continued support, encouragement, and motivation. Wareham will always hold a special place in my heart and I know I will back soon as a volunteer, friend, and supporter. Please show up for trail days, keep an eye out for birds, and enjoy the beauty of Wareham from bay to forest– Farewell for now.
With love and gratitude,