Girls Inc. EUREKA! of Holyoke: Experience the Outdoors – From Ewww! to Awesome!
As part of our celebration of Latino Conservation Week, today you are hearing from Marie Gonzalez who enjoys the outdoors as she was raised to love nature. She has lived in Puerto Rico where most habitats are conserved due to agriculture and wildlife. She is a risk-taker, she likes to try new things. Most of the time she could be found riding a bike or strolling around a park. Marie is very active when it comes to doing something that involves physical activity. She is an extern from the Girls Inc. of Holyoke Eureka! program where she has been placed this 2015 summer at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to get practical job experience as well as learn about conserving wildlife.
At first it was all about bug spray and staying away from any plant that could potentially be harmful. Eventually as the ladies began to look at nature differently they became quite interested in the conversation about conservation.
As they walked along the sustained path of the Fort River Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, habitats were compared, birds were identified, beautiful plants were examined and even frogs were observed. “ I learned so many things,” Jaela a rookie of the Eureka! girls expressed.
Few people can tell the difference between a wetland and a riverine habitat. “A wetland is an area in which water is the main source and where flood waters are contained by the soil to level the rivers,” a Girls Inc. girl could now explain.
The idea that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has a passion to lead a team to better the environment of various organisms is what the girls got out of what was being shown. The area in which they were was previously a horse farm but the USFWS led it to be a refuge for birds, plants and fishes of different sorts.
Several of the girls had never been in the outdoors like they were that day. Being close up to nature was fascinating to them as they grasped the clean air and were able to learn as they strolled down the pathway that was sturdily built for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. And when the girls return for their second trip, they will experience the hard work engaged into the refuge site’s recreation as they lend a hand to the YCC (Youth Conservation Corps). They will take home with them the knowledge of effort that is put into the beauty of the outdoors.