Contact: Lettie Haver
Advancement Manager
260-637-2273, ext 8
[email protected]

Huntertown, Ind., February 13, 2020 – ACRES Land Trust is seeking applications for two summer land management internships, generously funded by the Olive B. Cole Foundation. For ten years, ACRES interns have helped care for the organization’s ever-increasing number of permanently protected places.

“ACRES interns help fight non-native invasive plants, maintain trail, restore land, and with a variety of hands-on projects,” says Evan Hill, land management specialist and intern supervisor for ACRES, Indiana’s oldest and largest local land trust.

Hill, a former land management intern with the Huntertown-based nonprofit, notes that this work is physically demanding, requiring tenacity and perseverance.

ACRES interns help fight non-native invasive plants, often under the hot sun, lugging 40-pound backpack sprayers.

“We’re working in the field during the hottest time of the year, carrying 40-pound sprayers, climbing around off trail through poison ivy and mosquitoes, over and through dense brush and fallen trees. These are jobs for students seeking a challenge.”

As part of the internship, ACRES Land Trust partners summer interns with expert mentors in protecting, acquiring and managing working and natural lands. Interns may shadow a botanist conducting plant inventories on ACRES preserves, for example. In past years, ACRES has also paired interns with a local conservation organizations or professionals for unique opportunities, according to the intern’s interests.

In addition to challenging manual labor, each summer, ACRES interns participate in unique land management opportunities.

In turn, the interns give the land trust a much-needed boost in labor during the growing season.

ACRES is responsible for caring for more places today than ever before–a perpetual challenge for the ever-growing nonprofit. ACRES’ total protected land went from 5,000 acres in 2014 to over 7,000 by 2019. In five years, ACRES total land owned grew 40 percent.

With funds from an endowment dedicated to land management, the nonprofit has added a full-time staff member, but summer interns provide much-needed support while gaining skills.

“It’s satisfying to see former interns have gone on to work in conservation,” says Heather Barth, advancement director for the local nonprofit. “We recognize how this internship program supports the conservation field as a whole. It’s rewarding to be part of supporting the next generation–no one lives forever, but we can nurture this knowledge, these skills and this love for land.”

ACRES Land Trust’s Land Management Team supervises and supports ACRES interns. Left to right: Evan Hill, former intern and land management specialist, Casey Jones, land management director and Matt Dunno, land management specialist.

Applicants must be residents of DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble or Steuben counties. Applicants pursuing a degree related to conservation are preferred.

On March 2, 2020, ACRES Land Trust celebrates its 60th anniversary. In honor of this milestone in the land trust’s work protecting local land, forever, ACRES invites the public to visit its preserves, join as members, make a donation and invite others to participate in this living legacy.

With community support, ACRES protects 7,230 acres of local natural and working lands–forever. Learn more and support the effort at acreslandtrust.org or follow along on Facebook at facebook.com/ACRES.LT.