Peter Smith, 2014, Undeclared

As an intern with the Princeton-based D&R Greenway Land Trust, I worked to ­improve the health of ecosystems on their preserves, and beyond, by mitigating the impact of ­invasive plant species. My summer experience encompassed many facets of the ­Greenway’s mission, from growing native plants in a nursery to be planted on the ­preserves, ­eradicating invasive plants on the properties with loppers and herbicide, ­working on a farm, to cultivating thirteen different species of native wildflowers and grasses whose seeds will be used on a landfill in Staten Island. I gained insight into the operations of a land trust by attending stewardship meetings and accompanying staff members on surveys of conservation easements. Another intern and I also devised materials for a donor-initiated Children’s Discovery Trail on one of the preserves. I am considering a major in sociology, and seeing how D&R Greenway fits into the social fabric of Mercer and Hunterdon counties led me to ponder ways to incorporate environmental issues into that field of study.