For me, 2023 will be known as the year I found my calling in land conservation. Starting the year at Rhodes College, I took a course requiring an internship. I was seeking a position where I could make an impact and gain experience in environmental conservation, which led me to the Wolf River Conservancy. I am extremely grateful I became an intern there, as I have gained critical skills and developed experience in land conservation. Almost immediately, I was thrown into a field in Fayette County, TN, to help plant hundreds of trees on a forest restoration site. Soon thereafter, the Wolf River Restoration Series began. Helping to lead hundreds of volunteers, the Wolf River team exposed me to the great need for conservation work in Memphis. Throughout this series of community service projects, we pulled hundreds of illegally dumped tires, built trails, and planted and potted thousands of trees in an effort to make our little part of the world a better place. My eyes were opened to what a small conservation organization can do.
The summer took me away from the Wolf River to Sandy Hook, NJ, for an Americorps internship where I actively protected endangered shorebirds while also raising awareness. This experience was so different yet also enjoyable and impactful. I wanted to apply my new skills and learn even more at Wolf River Conservancy for my final semester. This autumn has been quite fulfilling at the Conservancy as a part-time intern. I was welcomed back and treated like a part of the staff. I was given more responsibility for the maintenance of the beautiful Wolf River Greenway, helped monitor urban and rural properties, and created recreational and legislative maps using GIS. These added opportunities allowed me to continue to develop professionally.
I have now graduated from Rhodes College with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and aspire to serve in land conservation for my next endeavor as well. I am so grateful for the conservation roots I was able to grow while at Wolf River Conservancy.
Note from the Wolf River Conservancy: Thank you, Sam, for your enthusiasm and hard work!
Getting Started in Conservation by Conservancy Intern Sam Komchentko For me, 2023 will be known as the year I found my calling in land conservation.