ASHLAND, Ore. — A crew of 20 Rogue Valley high school students helped prepare for future prescribed burns Wednesday afternoon as part of a program that teaches them about the environment while they work in the Ashland water shed.
“My main motivation for doing this is restoring the ecosystem and learning to take care of an earth that one day our generation will inherit,” said Lomakatsi Youth Forest Intern Gerarado Rodriguez
The four week program is designed by non-profit group Lomakatsi and will have the crew team up with specialists from various agencies while working towards improving the health of the watershed. Some of the students are from Ashland and are glad to be giving back.
“Now to be working and learning about how sick this forest is and how can help it heal and i feel like i’m giving back to the land i grew up on,” said Lomakatsi Youth Forest Intern Marie Stallman.
Executive director Marko Bey said this can be the first step in a career in environmental science.
“Really what they’re learning about is their backyard,” said Bey.”We”re building the next generation of environmental care takers and land stewards, so it’s really important to us to give these youth the opportunity to light the flame in their minds and maybe move into this career path.”
Rodriguez says after just three days the program has already grown his interest.
“I’m really thinking this might be something I might want to take further. Maybe take some environmental studies classes,” said Rodriguez.