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Conservation Our purpose. Our passion.| Volunteer Vignette Smith College Picker Program Design Clinic students

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Volunteer Vignette

Leonora Baddoo, Meghan Irving, June Yeung and Ida Ngambeki

Smith College Picker Program Design Clinic students & Earth Team Volunteers

(left to right) Leonora Baddoo, Meghan Irving, June Yeung and Ida Ngambeki A multi-cultural group of Smith College engineering students served as group volunteers for the Massachusetts Earth Team this past school year. From September 2006 to May 2007, the volunteers worked with NRCS staff and partners to design a culvert for the restoration of the Weir Creek Salt Marsh in Dennis, Massachusetts.

The 1,658 volunteer hours that the team logged over the school year were not only an academic experience but became valuable real life work experience. β€œI learnt a lot from doing this project, it covered a lot of ground and allowed us to do a variety of tasks,” said Ida Ngambeki of Uganda. β€œIt also provided me with a chance to see the workings of NRCS and their commitment to the environment.”

Ida and her fellow students, Leonora Baddoo of Ghana, June Yeung, originally of Hong Kong, and Meghan Irving of New Hampshire worked in collaboration with NRCS, Massachusetts Wetland Restoration Program and the Town of Dennis to prepare a final design for the salt marsh restoration culvert improvement. The final design and specifications will be used by NRCS and the town for obtaining funding, permits, and as a construction package for implementation.

The volunteers researched salt marshes, modeled tidal flow into the marsh, planned and developed alternatives for the site, then prepared a design, construction specifications, and a cost estimate. Over the course of the project NRCS engineering and ecological resources staff and the partner agencies provided reference materials, assisted the students in surveying the project site and provided guidance.


For More Information Contact:

Diane Baedeker Petit
Public Affairs Officer
413-253-4371
diane.petit@ma.usda.gov