Runner up: Nature trail, Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center near Palos Hills, Mary White
2012 Photo Contest Runner up: Nature trail, Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center near Palos Hills, Mary White

Archive for the ‘Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps’ Category

Cook County programs gives youth summer forest preserve jobs

Posted: May 25th, 2016

More than 100 young people will get the chance to earn money and experience the outdoors through a summer jobs program in Cook County’s forest preserves.

Homecoming Reunion

Posted: September 3rd, 2015

Join Friends for a Homecoming Reunion at Dan Ryan Woods for all our Conservation Corps alumni! Enjoy a relaxed get-together with all your old friends with free lunch, and a little restoration work to give back to the forest preserves. If you feel like making a snack, feel free to bring it along! Otherwise just bring yourself, because Friends will provide all the food and tools. We also welcome friends, family, and non-alumni to participate in a fun afternoon!

What: Homecoming with other Friends Conservation Corps alumni and free lunch

When: Saturday, November 14th, 9 am- 12 pm

Where: Dan Ryan Woods, by the 91st-Beverly Hills Metra Stop, Chicago, Il 60643

View the map here.

Click here to sign up!

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Crew Member Spotlight: Jalanni Matthews

Posted: August 6th, 2015

Jalanni Matthews

Name: Jalanni Matthews
Age: 17
High School: Chicago Bulls College Prep
Crew: Sand Ridge Nature Center

What is your experience with conservation?
I have been a volunteer for the past two years at Powderhorn Lake and Dan Ryan Woods. My mother first approached me about helping out in the forest preserves when she came across volunteer opportunities online.
What is your favorite part of working with the CCLC?
I love the work I do and the people I’ve met. I really take pride in nature.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? 
I want to go to Paris one day because the country looks beautiful and the attractions are a sight to see.

Fabian RiveraInterviewed by Fabian Rivera. Fabian has been working with the Student Conservation Association since last October. This is his first summer as an Assistant Crew Leader for the Sand Ridge Nature Center crew. He starts at Harold Washington in the fall.

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Crew Member Spotlight: Trevor Taylor

Posted: August 3rd, 2015

Trevor TaylorName: Trevor Taylor
Age: 18
Crew: Crabtree Nature Center

What is your experience with conservation?
It’s my third year with the Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps. I also volunteers at local preserves throughout the year.
What is your favorite part of working with the CCLC?
I like making a difference that you can see.
Why are you passionate about the environment?
It’s where we live and it’s our job to take care of it. We can’t leave it to future generations because if we don’t take care of it now, there won’t be anything left for future generations.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I would travel to the Wudang Mountains in China. I want to go to the Wudang Mountains because they are an extremely important site in Taoism. They’re also in the exact condition they were in hundreds of years ago.

Anthony MisiakInterviewed by Anthony Misiak. Anthony is the Assistant Crew Leader for the crew at Crabtree Nature Center. It’s his second year with the Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps. Anthony will be a freshman at University of Illinois-Chicago this fall. He’s hoping to pursue a career in an environmentally related field.

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Crew Member Spotlight-Dawson Cox

Posted: July 29th, 2015

Dawson CoxName: Dawson Cox
Age: 16
Crew: Sagawau Environmental Learning Center

What is your experience with conservation?
I have a lot of experience with conservation. My dad has been working with Friends of the Forest Preserve for 11 years. I have been volunteering for almost just as long and have been apart of a prescribed burn. This is also my second summer with the Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps.
What is your favorite part of working with the CCLC?
The work we do in the CCLC program is very rewarding. I enjoy seeing the difference we make after working. Volunteering is just a 1 day event and it’s hard to see the progress made. Through this program, we work for a longer period of time and the progress really stands out.
Why are you passionate about the environment?
I feel at peace in nature and feel the need to protect it.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
France. I enjoy speaking French especially with people who also use the language.

Adam MedelInterviewed by Adam Medel. Adam is the Assistant Crew Leader for the crew at the Sagawau Environmental Learning Center. This is Adam’s first year with the CCLC, and he’s picked up a vast amount of knowledge so far throughout the program from sharing experiences with those around him. After this program ends, Adam will begin to attend Moraine Valley Community College where he will study biology. He is very excited to learn more about plants and animals and ecosystems as a whole, and even more excited to use this knowledge to make a difference.

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Assistant Crew Leader Spotlight-Alex Morales

Posted: July 16th, 2015

Assistant Crew Leader Alex Morales

Assistant Crew Leader Alex Morales on the Dan Ryan Crew

Name: Alex Loren Morales
Age: 19
College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame
Studying: Psychology
Crew: Dan Ryan Woods Assistant Crew Leader

What is your experience with conservation?
My first experience with conservation began with Friends of the Forest Preserves and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) as a crew member at Eggers Woods. I came back for another summer because of the personal growth that happened while working with my crew. Since my first year I have found a desire to keep working with Friends because it gives me an enjoyable summer.

What do you like about the Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps?
What I really enjoy about the Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps is the community that forms. Several amazing people band together to work for a cause they’re passionate about. This is the only way that progress is made.

Why are you passionate about the environment?
I am passionate about the environment because it gives me a strong sense of intrinsic motivation, which helps me acknowledge my environment instead of blindly recognizing it.

If you got the chance to travel anywhere, where would you go?
If I had the chance to travel anywhere it would be to South America because I have close friends that live there.

 

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Crew Member Spotlight- Kacper Mierzejewski

Posted: August 5th, 2014

Kacper Mierzejewski Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Crabtree Crew member spotlightName: Kacper Mierzejewski
Age: 18
Crew: Crabtree
School: College of DuPage

Kacper, an Addison Trail High School graduate,  is relatively new to Friends of the Forest Preserves, but he is quite familiar with the conservation field. For the past year and a half, Kacper has been an active volunteer at Busse Woods. Kacper was first introduced to the conservation field when he went on a volunteer high school field trip to Busse Woods during his junior year of high school. During that field trip, Kacper was introduced to Matt Haas, the steward of Busse Woods and a Friends’ board member. After that trip, Kacper remained in touch with Matt and continued to volunteer at the site. Matt was impressed with Kacper’s work and suggested that Kacper should apply for the summer internship with Friends.

Kacper has excelled in his work since day 1 at the training, and according to his crew leaders, Kiley and Julia, Kacper has continued to be a stellar crew member all summer long. His previous experienced has helped him and his crew carry out high quality work and projects. Kacper is extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a crew member this summer. Kacper believes that youth programs like this one are very beneficial to not only the participants, but to their community and environment as well.  Through this program, he has gained more knowledge in respect to conservation and other environmental education topics, and he has also gained experience in the field through hands-on work. Kacper said he will surely share his knowledge with people in his community. Kacper thinks that it is very important to help build the next generation of people with a more “green” mentality, and this program has certainly done that for him and his crew. He said that this program helps “educate, inspire, and preserve the environment.” When asked if he would recommend this program to other students, his immediate answer was yes. His reasoning is that “you get to meet great people, visit great places, and it’s just a blast working here.”

His advice to future CCLC members:
1. If the nature center doesn’t have mosquito nets, get them!
2. Don’t get over confident and not use your helmet.
3. Try to keep a positive attitude at all times. “Some days will be more fun than others, but having a positive attitude goes a long way.”

So what’s next for Kacper?
Kacper plans to spend the following two weeks biking, working out at the gym, playing Frisbee, hanging out with some friends and also catching up on some shows. After these two weeks, Kacper will start his first year of college at College of DuPage. He plans to get involved by volunteering at forest preserves near his college and he will also continue to volunteer at Crabtree and Busse Woods. Kacper will pursue an associate’s degree in science, and then he will pursue a career in the medical field and minor in an environmental related field at either Loyola University or Benedictine University.

Eduardo Paz Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Apprentice Crew LeaderBy: Eduardo Paz, Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Apprentice Crew Leader

Eduardo Paz is currently an undergrad student at the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in computer engineering. Eduardo first got involved with conservation work during his freshman year of high school at Infinity Math, Science and Technology High School. He volunteered at Camp Sagawau with the Associated Colleges of Illinois at a volunteer week hosted by the Student Conservation Association (SCA). After that, he kept in contact with Sam Vergara, who was the program coordinator for the SCA at the time. He then became a crew member for the SCA’s year round program up until his senior year of high school. For the past two summers, he has been an apprentice crew leader teaching environmental education lessons to the high school crew members in the Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Program. He plans to continue to enhance his knowledge in the conservation field and continue to carry out restoration work by becoming a new addition to the Friend’s Forest Preserve Leadership Corps internship.

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Crew Member Spotlight- Jose Dondiego

Posted: July 29th, 2014

Jose Dondiego, Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Eggers Grove crew memberName: Jose Dondiego
Age: 18
School: Graduated from Whiney Young High School in 2014
Crew: Eggers Grove (Known as the Devil Eggers)

1. What is something you are passionate about? Medicine is something I’m very passionate about besides conservation work because, in any other way they both can combine together. Conservation is my second passion because being outdoors is just a stress reliever and it helps me focus on other things in life.

2. Is this your first conservation job? My first job in conservation was the year round program for the Student Conservation Association. Many things excite me when it comes to being outdoor like getting rid of invasive species, learning more about native plants and meeting new people.

3. Why do you think conservation is important? Conservation is very important to me because we need to preserve the very natural habitat we have, not only just in the U.S but in the entire world. Being involved in the conservation work gives me a great feeling, knowing that I’m doing a great thing to conserve natural habitats and ecosystems.

4. If you got the chance to go anywhere, where would you go? African plains and the African savannas.

Jesse Hernandez and Jose Dondiego, Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Apprentice Crew Leader, Forest Preserve Leadership CorpsBy: Jesse Hernandez, Apprentice Crew Leader for Eggers Grove, Chicago Conservation Leaderships Corps

Jesse began his career with the Student Conservation Association in his Freshmen year of high school at Infinity Math, Science and Technology. He enjoys spending his time playing basketball, sleeping, and spending time with a special person. When he isn’t doing all of that he is out working with for Friends of the Forest Preservers.

Not only is Jesse a leader in Friends’ CCLC, he’s also a crew member of our Forest Preserve Leadership Corps.

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Crew Member Spotlight- Haider Baig

Posted: July 23rd, 2014

Haider Baig, Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Little Red Schoolhouse Crew MemberName: Haider Baig
School: Graduated from Curie Metropolitan High School in 2014
Crew: Little Red Schoolhouse

When I think of a model Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps crew member, Haider Baig was the first to come to mind. Not only is Haider an exceptional student, but he is also a responsible individual who puts family first. Haider will be an incoming Freshman at DePaul University after graduating from Curie Metropolitan High School. Surprisingly, he considers doing household chores as hobby due to the amount of time he puts into them, as well as the importance of supporting his family. He enjoys reading and exploring new areas and environments. Haider hopes this six-week experience at Little Red Schoolhouse will help him develop his ability to communicate and collaborate with his current and future peers. He wants to receive his MBA at DePaul and try to influence the people around him to make smarter, greener choices. No matter what path he chooses to take, the future of this CCLC crew member is bright.

Jaime Davila, Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Little Red Schoolhouse Apprentice Crew LeaderBy: Jaime Davila, Apprentice Crew Leader for the Little Red Schoolhouse crew, Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps

Jaime began his career with the Student Conservation Association in his Junior year of high School at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. He enjoys basketball, food, air, sleep and the internet.

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Crew Member Spotlight- Kyana Harrod

Posted: July 18th, 2014

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Whistler Woods Crew Member Kyana Harrod

Name: Kyana Harrod
Crew: Whistler Woods

I’ve had the pleasure of bouncing around in many Friends of the Forest Preserves internships and meeting a wonderful assortment of people. I’m especially happy to be a part of the Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps because I get to help guide a diverse group of individuals in the direction of an environmental field. One of the amazing students that I had the pleasure of meeting is Kyana Harrod. I interviewed Kyana “Key” and this is her take on her experience so far with the CCLC.

1. What brought you to this program? I’ve always had an interest in the environment because my family has their own garden. And this is a way to get off the couch and get out into nature this summer.

2. What is your impression of CCLC compared to before you started working and now? When I first started working it was a challenge because of the insects. But as the days went on it became easier to cope with because I have adjusted to being outdoors. Now I see them as my ugly new friends.

3. How can you incorporate everything you’ve learned so far with program into your daily life? One thing that I’ve learned is responsibility. Timeliness has also been a big improvement on my part. Another thing would be, I learned how to operate efficiently on a small crew, I’m proud to say I know the true definition of hard work!

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps Whistler Woods Apprentice Crew Leader Dyrell Williams

By: Dyrell Williams, Apprentice Crew Leader for the Whistler Woods Crew, Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps

Dyrell has been an active force in conservation for more than four years. He started his conservation career in a high school program with the Student Conservation Association. He has volunteered at over 30 different forest preserve sites in Cook County. His favorite place to be is under an oak tree and he loves using his chainsaw. He plans to continue his service to nature whether it is through his career or hobby, and he will be attending college in the fall.

Not only is Dyrell a leader in Friends’ CCLC, he’s also a crew member of our Forest Preserve Leadership Corps.