By: Chesed Chap, 2021 Borderlands Earth Care Youth Intern
After two seasons as an intern at Borderlands Earth Care Youth, ‘What made you join BECY?’ is a question that frequently crops up. When I first joined BECY two years ago, it was on a total whim. I think a question that better captures my love for this program is not why I initially joined, but why I came back, and hopefully the answer to that question may be the reason someone else joins- and hopefully I can provide a little insight as to what the BECY crew really does.
WEEK ONE: Two facilitators, eight interns met promptly at 6 AM to begin our season. We’re not quite bright eyed nor bushy tailed, but rather half-asleep with serious cases of bedhead. Waking up at 5 AM for work never gets easier, BECY interns just get stronger. This week we’re working in Smith Canyon, learning from watershed restoration technicians how to build rock structures that will eventually slow water from the incoming monsoon season. Slow water replenishes aquifers, which supports plant growth. Smith Canyon is a part of an important wildlife corridor that helps jaguars migrate from Mexico to Arizona- my mind is always blown knowing there might be a couple jaguars roaming around the places I’ve helped restore.
WEEK TWO: Once more in the Borderlands Wildlife Preserve, we meet in Stevens Canyon this week to continue building rock and stick structures. To start our days we crawl under a barbed wire fence to the worksite- my job is a lot of things, but it is never boring. Unscathed, we hike upstream to a head cut. Here, Zach and Eduardo lead us in building the biggest zuni bowl in BECY history. Throughout the week the interns debated on what a BECY-scented candle would smell like- in honor of week two's project and the occasionally ripe scent wafting from our hard work, we decided our candle would be called “Zuni B.O.”
WEEK 3: This week we planted 72 trees in Doc Mock park in Patagonia, a task that proved to be meaningful to all of us. This was a town-wide collaboration years in the making, and this week the Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center joined the BECY crew for an awesome week planting native trees, playing ninja, and enjoying blueberry pies (thank you Mrs. Coleman!). We spotted many critters this week- a mole when we were digging a hole, and a vinegaroon, too!
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