Posted by: Bridgett Hernandez

  • 01/01/2016

ACRES Land Trust offers expert mentoring opportunities in land management careers for northeast Indiana interns

ACRES Land Trust is seeking applicants for three summer internships that will match college students with expert mentors in land management, protection, acquisition and research. 2015 marks the fifth year of the paid internships, underwritten by the Olive B. Cole Foundation to help northeast Indiana retain workforce talent by offering area students high-quality experiences in their fields.

“Our interns gain direct in-the-field experience in protecting northeast Indiana’s natural areas,” said Casey Jones, director of land management for ACRES, a local nonprofit which protects 5,717 acres on 94 properties and provides more than 70 miles of trail.

“We are grateful to the Cole Foundation for providing this tremendous asset to ACRES,” said Executive Director Jason Kissel. “The students, northeast Indiana and ACRES will profit from the Foundation’s generosity.”

2015 interns help clean up tires at Flowers Creek

Qualified applicants must reside in Noble, LaGrange, DeKalb or Steuben counties. Preference will be given to students seeking a natural resource-based undergraduate or graduate degree such as environmental studies. ACRES recruits its interns through community foundations and Indiana colleges and universities, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and partner organizations.

The interns will work side-by-side with Jones and Shane Perfect, director of land protection, and other ACRES leaders. ACRES’ current strategic plan sets an ambitious goal to double land acquisition rates achieving 7,500 acres protected by 2017.

The land protection intern will gain hands-on experience in preparing legal documents, surveying, marking boundaries, vetting acquisition projects, reporting data and documentation for state dedication, and collecting data for environmental assessments and protective restrictions.

2015 interns install a boardwalk over a wetland trail

The land management intern will learn land management techniques needed for trail upkeep and maintenance, repair of boardwalks and bridges, non-native species control, boundary marking and leadership of ACRES Eagle Scout projects.

The research intern also will work with Jones and an expert mentor to map ACRES nature preserves, mark boundaries, create science-based Preserve Management Plans, support land protection with research and environmental assessments, and learn about deed or land use restrictions on new properties.