Nicodemus Wilderness Project
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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Moultonborough, New Hampshire, USA

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Moultonborough, New Hampshire, USA
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Mako22



Registered: October 2021
City/Town/Province: Moultonborough
Posts: 1
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I heard about the Nicodemus Wilderness Project online while looking for scholarships to help offset my costs for college. I completed my project shortly before I even heard of the group. However when I read the mission of the group, it said “The Nicodemus Wilderness Project was founded because of the need for environmental restoration, stewardship, and protection of neglected public lands.” I knew my project was an excellent fit for the organization's mission. If public land was never neglected in my community my project would have never existed but sadly that was just not the case.
As a cross country runner for the Moultonborough Academy’s team in Moultonborough, New Hampshire I get to run through much of the school's campus. One of the first practices I had we ran past an immense pile of garbage. I was shocked when I ran by it because schools shouldn’t have trash piles at them. This bothered me but as a young freshman I did little about it. Over the course of the next two years I would ask questions about it but would learn very little. All I knew was it was there for a couple of decades and the school administration wanted to keep it out of sight, out of mind. When our school came back from being remote because of the pandemic I noticed the pile had grown significantly. This only made me more dismayed but as a junior that was recently inducted into my school's chapter of National Honor’s Society I was now able to do something about it. A condition for membership in my school’s chapter of National Honors Society is that you have to complete a yearly service project. I took the opportunity to benefit my community by removing this junk pile. This was no easy task though. There were rumors of asbestos in the pile so I consulted our schools maintenance manager to see if there was any truth to this. He told me there was none to his knowledge.
The next step in my plan was to receive administration's approval to remove the pile. They would not grant it since I was a student and too much of a liability risk. They also would not hire an outside company because it would cost them tens of thousands of dollars between equipment, labor, and disposal fees. The only solution I could see was to find a local contractor who would be willing to remove the pile at a reduced cost. Lucky for me I had a friend whose dad owned some heavy equipment that could get the job done. After going back and forth between administration and the local contractor we reached an agreement to remove the pile.
In the spring I removed the pile with the help of the contractor. The first task was to use an excavator to sort the pile into two separate ones. One for burnable wood and another for everything else. We loaded up the burnable wood in a loader and brought it to a burnable sight. Here we had a bonfire for the seniors since they were not able to go on their senior trip. The remaining debris we loaded into a dump truck and took multiple trips to the dump. Here we were able to dump the trash for free because I made an agreement with the town and school. When all was said and done well over one hundred labor hours were put in and the pile was removed.
After all this work you would understand my dismay when it only took the school about a week to create a new trash pile. This prompted me to run for student representative to the school board. I got elected and my first task was to inform the school board of the situation at the school. They promptly agreed to have the second pile removed and to look into ways to repurpose the area to prevent trash piles from being formed in the future. I organized a second
community service project where I got seniors in desperate need of community service hours to help me remove the pile. This pile I was able to remove by loading the trash into trucks by hand since it was not nearly as big. Once again the town waived the dumping cost.
Currently the school board is under discussions of what to do with this newly reclaimed land. There is talk of installing solar panels or a greenhouse but nothing has been decided. It is important that something is done to utilize the space to prevent further trash piles from forming. It would be great for one of the options for repurposing to be approved because the land could be used to make a more eco-friendly school. This project benefited my community because they no longer have a trash pile at their school that attracted rodents which could have harmed children there. My initial project has inspired me to have the land be repurposed to benefit the school. Whether that is by offsetting the schools carbon footprint with solar panels or providing a greenhouse for family consumer science students to learn about gardening.
· Date: December 6, 2021 · Views: 201 · File size: 23.7kb, 3866.4kb · : 3264 x 2448 ·
Hours Volunteered: 100
Volunteers: 5
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 17 to 19
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