Meet the Crew @ Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in West Virginia!
The Canaan Valley NWR YCC crew worked on important conservation projects this summer, spending their days among the diverse wildlife and habitats in the valley. Canaan Valley NWR, in Davis, WV, is home to the largest wetland complex in the state, and the highest large valley east of the Rockies. The valley floor is 8,500 acres of unique wetlands, with forested walls and trails that climb to amazing valley views.
The YCC program provides opportunities for youth to perform meaningful conservation work while learning about the natural environment, wildlife, and natural resources. The youth also have the opportunity to learn about the natural world through hands-on refuge biological activities.
Teamwork, learning and work ethic are stressed as an integral part of the program.
The YCC crew at Canaan Valley NWR has been a really hard-working team, says YCC crew leader Holly Black. This summer the crew worked on an amazing variety of activities, including installing fence post, pulling fence post, tearing out a destructive beaver dam, gardening work, cleaning ditches, truck maintenance, monitoring bluebird boxes, bat monitoring, and water quality monitoring.
The crew also went on educational hikes, and found the time to make a bench!
Hear from crew members Jared, Natalie, Jameson and Elizabeth about their experiences at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge this summer:
Why did you want to work at the refuge this summer?
Jared: To go outside, do something different and meet new people.
Natalie: To be outdoors and to earn money.
Jameson: Get some work to do and learn about wildlife.
Elizabeth: To get experience.
What is your favorite thing about working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? What activities do you enjoy the most?
Jared: The learning experience and I enjoy the hikes.
Natalie: I enjoyed taking out fence post and working with the bluebird boxes.
Jameson: Getting to meet the workers and learning about how they got their job. I enjoy weed-eating and maintenance work.
Elizabeth: Hikes and maintenance.
What is your favorite animal and why?
Jared: The eagle because it represents freedom and because it is an awesome bird.
Natalie: Bluebirds, because we learned what habitats they live in and we got to see how long it takes for them to hatch.
Jameson: White-tail deer, because I’m a big hunter and love how they live and adapt.
Elizabeth: Deer, because I see them a lot and they are pretty.
Do you plan to continue with your interest in wildlife and environmental conservation after the summer?
Jared: Yes, I want to learn more about wildlife, the environment and maintenance.
Natalie: Yes. I want to study marine biology in college.
Elizabeth: Probably more than I would have before, because I am more aware now.
The YCC program lasts for approximately 8 weeks each summer, and takes place at numerous National Wildlife Refuges. For more information, including how to apply to the program, click here.
See more stories from the YCC 2015 crews!