Meet the Staff: Ari Henson, Stewardship Intern
When it comes to helping people protect, enjoy and care for nature in West Michigan, LCWM’s staff make it all happen. This post is part of a series of interviews to help you get to know our team members!
Introduce yourself! Share three fun facts about you.
Hello! My name is Ari Henson, I’m a GVSU wildlife biology and natural resource management student. For three fun facts about myself, I work for the GVSU technology showcase during the school year running 3D printers, I am a snowboarder and skier, and I once accidentally came within 20 feet of an adult blackbear while hiking in Sequoia National Park.
Describe your role at the Land Conservancy.
I have been with LCWM since the beginning of May. I am the Stewardship Intern for this summer. I decided to work with the LCWM because I really could see that the LCWM team is passionate about their mission, and I knew that working with the stewardship team over the summer would teach me a lot about the on-the-ground work in my field. A typical day for me is going out with our stewardship team members, Jason, Lucas, and Justin, and working on particular land management tasks at many of our preserves. Sometimes that’s pulling garlic mustard, an invasive, or planting natives. Other times it’s big tasks, like conducting a prescribed burn.
Why is conservation important to you?
Conservation is important to me because without conservation efforts, we substantially shorten the longevity of life around us. Without conservation, native plant species disappear, and then native animals follow thereafter. Eventually, it comes back around to us. I care about conservation for the sake of mankind and our fellow living creatures.
What is your favorite part about working with LCWM?
Everyone around me is incredibly knowledgeable and deeply cares about the work we are doing, no matter how physically taxing or menial it may feel in the moment. Pulling garlic mustard is not a well-loved task for us on the stewardship team, but everyone works hard to get it done because it is important.
What is your favorite natural area or habitat type?
My favorite natural area is the forested dunes we have in West Michigan.