Spring 2012 Internship Program Update
The spring 2012 program started off with 4 interns arriving in early May and work began in earnest to bring the Sanctuary out of its winter hibernation in preparation for the busy season. Interns worked diligently with staff to prepare for our Mother’s Day “Love Your Mother” event at the Sanctuary. Despite the day long downpour about 50 people showed up on Mother’s Day to hike and attend classes in the rain.
Besides the many hours of weeding and reclaiming the landscape, the first group of spring interns also worked hard to help improve and maintain the Sanctuary’s trail system by cleaning up and clearing all of the winter’s downed and storm damaged trees that seem to always fall right across the trails; botanizing all along the way. Along with the day-to-day work that is required to try to maintain a 360-acre piece of property, the buildings, landscape, herb beds, gardens and trails, interns participated in a wide variety of classes presented by local teachers and entrepreneurs in the community. Classes ranged from the basics of medicine making & percolations to Tom Brown styled woods awareness exercises and the business of herbs. Several Hazelnuts and an American Plum tree were also planted at the Sanctuary in honor of this spring’s internship session.
The 2nd group of spring interns arrived in early June. Interns this spring came in from New York, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky. One of our interns rode her bicycle up from outside of Louisville, Kentucky in 90 degree weather and made it here in less than 2-days!
Grubbing out multi-flora rose from near the trails was a good warm up to moving the 300+ lb bridge by hand 1-mile through the woods to its new location at the creek crossing for the Lost Holler Trail. The UpS Interns worked hard to play hard. At the end of most days it is common that the interns will be found in the Heart Pond doing “water botany” or at least that’s what they say they are doing as they enjoy the cool crispness of a spring pond.
Interns also had the opportunity to help harvest and process mullein flowers for Equinox Botanical’s Garlic Mullein Ear Oil. Seeing the process all the way through from harvesting to bottling the final product really helps to give perspective on the great care and effort it takes to make a high quality herbal medicine.
Once the interns settle into their new Sanctuary environment they quickly mesh into the larger community, getting eggs, milk and butter from the Amish farm that adjoins the Sanctuary and harvesting herbs from neighbors’ fields. Besides carrying the lion’s share of necessary work that must be done on the Sanctuary and providing UpS with the ability to accomplish this, the interns bring a much appreciated outside perspective to the Sanctuary and the larger community. They share ideas and visions with us and perhaps more importantly they carry our mission and the work we do back out into the “real world” with them when they leave. (Spring Crew from left to Right are Annie, Jenn, Liana, Morgan, and Kenton)