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A fond farewell!

August 10, 2022

With funding support from Jack and Karen Horrell, the Conservancy was able to add a summer intern to our staff in 2022!

Izzy Franks joined us in May and heads back to school in mid-August. Izzy was asked to reflect on her time at the Conservancy and this is what she shared.

"As the summer draws to an end, my time at Clear Lake Township Land Conservancy as an intern does as well. This summer has been filled with amazing experiences and opportunities. I completed a variety of different tasks while being an intern here. Some examples would be invasive species removal through multiple techniques (some using herbicide and some not), monitoring the trail camera and collecting photos from preserves, trail maintenance, writing social media posts, removing and hauling brush from preserves, attending Committee meetings, learning about and participating in Water Quality testing, and more. Out of these tasks, I did have a few favorites.

I really enjoyed maintaining trails. One of my favorite activities was trimming the plants encroaching the path at Brennan Woods. The wildlife at Brennan Woods is so lively and interesting. When I would go trim the trails, I would see all different kinds of species such as the Red-headed woodpecker (my favorite), Flickers, Yellow Warblers, Downy Woodpeckers, White tail Deer, and so many chipmunks. There were countless times that I got to observe the Red-headed woodpecker. This species of woodpecker is rare to see these days and there is a substantial population at Brennan Woods. I took advantage of observing them every chance that I got. I also enjoyed finding new places each week to place our trail camera. It was fun to seek out a game trail, set up the camera, and be rewarded with cool photos of wildlife on each preserve.

Deer at Brennan Woods

Water Quality testing was very interesting to me as well. I have always enjoyed doing research in my classes at college; so, to do some hands-on research in the field was a great experience for me. I learned how to properly collect data and enter it into an online database, how to correctly perform multiple tests with water samples, and how to work in a team while collecting this information. It was always a fun day to go out and spend a few hours learning and gathering data. A special thank you to Dan Rippe, Don Luepke, Annie Skinner, and Larry Lillmars for welcoming me onto the Water Quality testing team; you all taught me something one way or another and I am grateful to have worked with you!

This internship has taught me quite a bit. From a working standpoint, it taught me to take advantage of all the nice weather days you get to work outside, be precise with documenting data, how to correctly fill herbicide sprayers, how to keep yourself safe when spraying herbicide, how to run multiple different tests on water, how to manage my time, and much, much more. I also learned how Committee and Board meeting’s function, which was very interesting as I had zero experience in this beforehand. I enjoyed being a part of an organization that is so involved with its community; it is very special, and I feel thankful to have had the opportunity to take part in it this summer. I would say my favorite thing that I learned this summer was plant species identification. I spent a lot of time outdoors surrounded by plants. While Elizabeth Strick still worked here, she was able to begin introducing me to a number of plant species around this area, native and non-native. This really interested me, so I continued to teach myself and document the species I observed for the rest of the summer. I feel very confident in my identification abilities now!

Fern at Flora

Overall, I am very happy with the time I have spent with CLTLC this summer. This has been an amazing opportunity and there is no where else I would have rather interned. Thank you to everyone I met along the way!"

We wish Izzy a fond farewell and the very best wishes for her future. She was a great addition to our team! She will be missed.

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