Deliver Benefits to the Public

Forest Service Interns connect to the land while connecting others

MILWAUKEE — Four college interns with the Forest Service’s Urban Connections program connected over 600 Milwaukee youth to the great outdoors this summer. The team led fun, interactive programs at summer schools, YMCAs and community centers. They also worked with Milwaukee teens on a conservation project to benefit the local environment.

While teaching others, the team had the opportunity to learn themselves through two hands-on field trips. One involved a visit to Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest with the same group of Milwaukee teens. They learned about forest management and careers in natural resources from subject matter experts. They also canoed and tried their hand at archery at the Trees for Tomorrow Center.

The other was a trip to the unique Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington, Illinois. At Midewin, they participated in a Milkweed planting project to benefit pollinators, especially monarch butterflies and learned about the nuances of prairie management.

The experience was affecting for everyone involved. As intern Milcah Rimmer, Wildlife Biology major at UW-Madison, stated, “Through this internship, I learned valuable skills that I can use during my career, and I was able to network. I hope to work as a biologist or ecologist after graduation.”

The Urban Connections interns were hired through Mobilize Green, a 21st Century Conservation Corps .

Milwaukee Urban Connections Intern, Milcah Rimmer, and teens from Neighborhood House of Milwaukee, learn about wildfire management on the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest. Forest Service photo by Jean Claassen.