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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

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New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
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awhetstone



Registered: June 2015
City/Town/Province: Winter Park
Posts: 1
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My name is Angel, I am currently a junior enrolled at Rollins College, studying Business Management and also economics as a minor. I’m currently involved in my community very deeply. For example, I am a resident assistant, women’s basketball student assistant, member of Chi Omega sorority, member of BSU, member of MicroFinance, SGA senator and also a member of the inspirational project.
I saw apprentice ecologist initiative about few months ago but I wasn’t quite sure how I could get involved in my local community, and whether if I wanted to stay in Florida or go somewhere, were I know they need all the help they can receive. However my wonderful college gives us the opportunity to participate in different Immersions throughout the school year. “Rollins Immersion participants are taken outside the Rollins community borders and immersed in activities and projects based on need-areas identified by community agencies and Rollins.” Also having immersion during spring break, which are called alternative spring breaks. As a matter of fact, for the third year in a row, Rollins is ranked No. 1 for highest percentage of students who participate in alternative breaks.
I’m so glad that I was able to participate in my first alternative spring break at Rollins, which was titled “Bayou Restoration...By You! Natural Disaster Relief and Restoration”. Out of over 50 applications were turned in for just this one alternative spring break and only twelve are pick, and I happened to be one of the twelve.
I thought right away that this would be a great opportunity to participate in helping a different community and also sharing my story with the apprentice ecologist that I had recently seen online.
My alternative break was in New Orleans! A place that I have never been to before, and I couldn’t wait to see all that it had to offer. That is to help! I remember when I was in 5th grade in Florida we were preparing ourselves for a hurricane, Hurricane Katrina that is. Until, it completely missed Florida and hit New Orleans, Louisiana. All I could remember was hearing on the news how many people had died and how many homes were destroyed. Just being a child it hurt to watch.
However being a young adult I thought it was only right that I made sure I put a lot of effort into helping the people who were affected by hurricane Katrina. My school partnered with Common Ground Relief who were just about four people that are helping rebuild homes around the local area, restore wetlands. Common Ground Relief's mission is to create resilient Gulf Coast Communities that are environmentally sustainable, financially viable and personally cohesive. They fulfill this mission by helping residents build assets that support community transformation and renewal.
On our first day in New Orleans we went to work with members of the native Indian tribes of southern Louisiana at the Los Isleños culture center. And helped build traditional huts out of palmetto leaves that were gathered. At the end of the day we completed three huts! On the next day of service we participated in wetland restoration, which was going in to the wetlands and planting trees and also removing trees that were rotten and had fallen and removing waste. We learned that we were planting the trees and remove the debris; because if another hurricane were to hit New Orleans it would help reduce any flooding that would happen.
With that we also went to the city park the next day to also plant trees along the trails to also help if the lake water were to flood in a next hurricane. We also helped cut down any invasive species that we saw that would hinder the other trees and plants around. We also pulled down the vines that were in multiple trees, because we found out that when these vines rapidly grow on these trees, choking them and eventually killing them.
Being in New Orleans for the first time and around the decade anniversary, it’s extremely sad to see that this city is still improving to prevent as much damage if another natural disaster were to come again. I think that it’s important that common ground relief continue to open up their home and invite people to the state to help plant these trees and pull these vines down. It all makes a different in the long run.
With all that we accomplished within that one week, we basically helped the city of New Orleans if another hurricane were to come. I am so blissful that I was able to be apart of this alternative spring break. It really open my eyes to the different situations that still need to be fixed.
This project has inspired me so much to continue helping other communities around the states, not just in college but also even after I graduate. I will be looking for other opportunities to get involve. I am proud to say that this was my first alternative spring break at Rollins but it will not be my last! With two more years left, I plan on going on two more! In conclusion this was an extraordinary experience and I recommend that everyone should get involve with not just helping their own community but other communities that are in need.
· Date: July 22, 2015 · Views: 1976 · File size: 33.2kb, 100.6kb · : 640 x 640 ·
Hours Volunteered: 240
Volunteers: 12
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 20 & 17 to 23
Native Trees Planted: 155
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