Hear From our Levine Scholar! | Catawba Lands Conservancy
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July 3, 2024
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Hear From our Levine Scholar!

Hey y’all! My name is Natalie Doerfler, and I was one of the summer interns for the Catawba Lands Conservancy (CLC) and Carolina Thread Trail (CTT) for 2024. I am a Levine Scholar from the class of 2027 at UNC Charlotte. The Levine Scholars Program requires scholars to complete a summer internship with a nonprofit organization in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg County area. I am currently studying biology as well as political science. I have a particular interest in conservation efforts, providing accessible green space to all, and protecting the environment. As a result of this, I was very interested in interning with CLC and CTT.

I started my internship at the beginning of May after exams wrapped up for the semester. Thankfully, this was while the Spider Lilies were still in bloom! During my second week, I was able to travel down to Landsford Canal State Park, which has the largest population of Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies in the world. I had the incredible opportunity to kayak out on the Catawba River to see the lilies. It was one of the coolest experiences of my entire life! The lilies are so delicately intricate and absolutely beautiful.  A few other staff members from CLC were also able to attend, as well as staff members from The Catawba Riverkeepers.

Throughout my internship, my favorite tasks to assist with were monitoring properties with CLC and trail work with CTT staff. “Monitoring a property” is essentially where staff will travel out to a property that is part of a land easement to take photos and ensure that the conditions of the easement are being adhered to. I grew up in central Alabama and moved to Charlotte to go to UNCC. Because I have not lived in North Carolina very long, I particularly enjoyed being able to see more of the state and explore the lovely lands that CLC has the opportunity to conserve. This is also why I enjoyed the trail maintenance aspect of working with CTT. I love being outdoors, and making outdoor recreation convenient for others is very important to me. It meant so much to me when people would say thank you while we were out working on the trails. It made the long hot days totally worth it! I am so thankful that I was able to have the opportunity to intern with CLC and CTT. It was an incredible way to spend the first half of my summer. I look forward to volunteering with them in the future!