GL_preserveFor the last several weeks, Glenmont Job Corps Center’s Facility Maintenance students have been working with the local Hannacroix Creek Preserve & Dr. Barbara.

Dr. Barbara’s Team is focused on conservation efforts and preserving the local ecology to ultimately rejuvenate earth. One of the main focuses is to remove anything that is not native to the Hudson River Valley so the area may thrive and be as natural as possible.

In the beginning, this was intended to be community service so that Dr. Barbara and her team had the manpower to get projects done within the needed timeline. After a few days, students quickly learned that it would become much more than community service and could serve as an educational experience that will last a life time. Many of the tasks students have completed will earn credit towards their trade completion.

In the past few weeks, students have dug holes and cleared thick brush, planted over 1,000 little trees and built fences and barriers to support growth and stability. The best part about this is they are building all these things from natural timbers that have fallen on the property. The last few weeks, students have explored 26 acres of land and sometimes, stop in the middle of work for a full-on wildlife education. Students have learned how to navigate the woods and track animals such as white-tailed deer and wild turkeys. They often compete to see who can identify the different animal tracks.

“It’s really been such a cool process,” said Instructor Tyler Jackson. “We came to do community service and our students have gotten so much more than that. We have an opportunity to do something great and also work with tools that we would otherwise not have consistent access too.”

In the future, there are plans to build more fences, bridges out of timbers and other materials that have fallen on the property.