Native to Charleston, intern Kate Schaible spends her summers in the Lowcountry between semesters at Wake Forest University. As an Economics major with a minor in Environmental Studies, Kate found Lowcountry Land Trust to be a natural fit for a meaningful summer intern program focused on community-centered conservation.
In addition to the organization’s conservation easements held, Lowcountry Land Trust owns and protects publicly-accessible properties that are in direct harmony with the culture and values of the Lowcountry. These immersive, conservation experiences emphasize the importance of accessibility of regional lands and elevate the relevancy of conservation to the community.
Kate was able to work alongside Angel Oak Project Manager, Samantha Siegel, to move the needle on a 10-year effort to unify an existing 9-acre city park with the surrounding 35 acres once threatened by insensitive development. The Charleston community celebrates the magnetic draw of the enormous, centuries-old tree known as Angel Oak – and Lowcountry Land Trust is working to highlight this ambassador site for environmental conservation through the creation of Angel Oak Preserve.
Most of her time this summer was spent connecting with community members to spread the word about Angel Oak Preserve while listening to stories of the tree from long ago in return. She highlights her time in the field, stating, “Being a people person, working with Samantha to talk with community members was extremely rewarding. People shared diverse stories of the tree from their childhood and thanked the Land Trust for their initiative to create a preserve that locals can enjoy for free.”
In addition to community outreach and feedback gathering, Kate was able to spend time with the internationally-recognized landscape architecture firm hired to design Angel Oak Preserve, Nelson Byrd Woltz. She also noted how special it’s been to witness Lowcountry Land Trust’s partnership with the City of Charleston and other community stakeholders, highlighting her continued interest and motivation in applying for law school after undergrad.
She summarizes her experience with Lowcountry Land Trust, stating, “Being from here, it’s disheartening to see such rapid change and development happening in the area. But through conservation, there is a huge opportunity to keep the spirit of Charleston alive and protect some of the most beautiful landscapes in the southeast.”
Lowcountry Land Trust is incredibly thankful for Kate’s work this summer. We wish her the best in her future academic and professional endeavors.
We will be accepting intern applications for next summer in January 2023. If you would like to receive more information about upcoming internships when it is available, please email Bea Girndt, Director of Outreach & Events firstname.lastname@example.org