North Woods Stewards Program
The North Woods Stewards Program, supported by Sustainable Skidmore, provides two students every summer with experiential learning opportunities in conservation work and leadershop opportunities as they coordinate peer and community education programs. The stewards are tasked each summer with several projects that will help maintain the health, diversity and accessibility of the North Woods. Each student works for 10 weeks removing invasive species such as garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed and burning bush, maintaining the trail system and leading educational tours and programs for groups on campus and in the community. Other summer projects have included proposals for new and improved signage, plans for the eradication of specific invasive species, the creation of videos and other educational materials and much more. The stewards also maintain the North Woods social media pages as a way to share their experience and encourage visitors to explore the area.
One steward also continues working into the academic year to help plan North Woods service days and to continue trail maintenance and other projects. Over the years, the stewards have proposed and completed several projects with lasting impacts for the college. For instance, in 2013 the college made a commitment to remove all burning bush and Japanese barberry from the formal part of campus, in large part due to work completed by North Woods stewards. Facilities Services, an environmental sociology class and the Skidmore Student Conservation Corps also partnered to build a boardwalk on the red trail to alleviate stress on tree roots, stop trail widening and improve accessibility.
The North Woods Stewards Program is a great opportunity for students looking to gain skills in conservation work, education and outreach and to apply concepts learned in the classroom right in Skidmore’s North Woods. For an application or more information, please contact the campus sustainability coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).