News & Events

From Field Trip to Field Work

Author: Jefferson Land Trust | 10/04/17

Rian Plastow

This summer, we were lucky to have intern Rian Plastow on the Land Trust team. We so appreciated her bright smile and the way she was always game to roll up her sleeves and and pitch in wherever needed, from leading volunteer work parties to helping with fundraising events. We were also thrilled to realize that we had met Rian before—as a student in one of the Land Trust’s first public school partnerships.

“It’s heartening to know our education programs are effective and inspiring the next generation to care about the land,” said Stewardship Associate Carrie Clendaniel. “Working with Rian was a pleasure, and I look forward to meeting again in the next phase of her career!”

We asked Rian to share how she was inspired to pursue this work:

Why is local land conservation meaningful to you?

For 6 years I had a very passionate science teacher in the Pi Program, Kit Pennell. Her love and appreciation for this area was contagious, and I was deeply affected. Conservation is meaningful to me because the protection and health of the land has tremendous value in many aspects of our lives. But it’s also much bigger than ourselves! Conservation is also meaningful to me because it shows a respect for things that have been here long before us like the deep forests, gurgling streams, and soil. The act of protecting land is like speaking on the behalf of things that can’t speak our language to defend themselves. Conservation is pretty neat!

How did you become interested in working with the Land Trust?

I learned about the Land Trust through an Environmental Science class I took in high school. We had the opportunity to go to one of the Land Trust’s preserves and collect data on what plants were currently there. I loved the idea that the forest that was there would still be there if I came back in 50 years.

What are your hopes for the future?

I want to help make the Olympic Peninsula the best place it can be for the ecosystems and growing population. My college studies are focused around forests and streams so I hope that when I graduate, I can come back to this area and take care of the forests and streams I love the most. So thank you Jefferson Land Trust for giving me the opportunity to be an intern this summer and supporting my learning and goals!