About Project Conserve
Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) - Environmental Education Associate
Britney grew up in Western North Carolina. After becoming a Wilderness First Responder, she headed to the coast of North Carolina. There she served on the first ever North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps, and helped build and construct a sustainable five-mile bike trail in Croatan National Forest. She then moved on to work in Northern Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest with troubled adolescents in a wilderness therapy setting. Wanting to explore a bit more, she went on a cross country road trip before moving to Maryland. There she served her first AmeriCorps position with Patapsco Valley State Park’s Maryland Conservation Corps. She has also worked as a seasonal park ranger in MD, and has spent her past two summers with the Maryland Wildland Fire Crew as a Wildland Firefighter. Britney is passionate about the outdoors and enjoys backpacking, fishing, hiking, and exploring. Glad to be back in North Carolina’s mountains she is enthusiastic to serve her community as FENCE’s Environmental Education Associate!
Friends of the WNC Nature Center - Volunteer & Education Associate
Candace was born in Syracuse, NY and moved shortly after to the great state of North Carolina. Ever since she was a little girl, Candace dreamed of becoming a veterinarian and helping animals. Her childhood was filled with camping, snorkeling, and playing in the woods and creek behind her house. Candace attended North Carolina State University, majoring in Animal Science. During the second year of her collegiate career, Candace realized becoming a veterinarian was maybe not the dream after all. She got an internship with a small zoo in Coats, NC and everything changed. Working with the public and wildlife made her realize her true calling- promoting conservation through education outreach and community involvement. In January 2016, Candace became a Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern with the WNC Nature Center. She was then a camp Counselor at the Nature Center summer camps which combined her love of animals, children, and education. Now Candace is serving in Americorps Project Conserve with the Friends of the Nature Center as Volunteer and Education Associate. Candace loves the Nature Center and made it her objective to support and serve her local community. When she's not hanging out with the animals, she loves to hike, swim, garden, and ride motorcycles on the fun mountain roads.
Organic Growers School - Home-Grower Program Coordinator
Jillian grew up in Los Angeles County, later moving to Tampa, Chicago and Asheville, NC in pursuit of her passions. She developed a strong bond to the land early on, and remembers fondly the time spent with her naturalist father and on her grandfather's farm feeding the calves, playing in the hay barn and picking wild berries. These experiences, and a struggle with childhood hunger, led to an active interest in urban edibles as a teen. Though her mother refused to let her grow corn in the front yard of their suburban home, Jill's vision of seeing farms in every neighborhood remains strong. Her love of wildlife led to the initial pursuit of a career working in zoos on education and conservation programs, having learned from that experience how human populations driven by poverty and hunger affect wildlife habitats. That developed into an exploration of human need and human service work spanning nearly three decades and including positions with AIDS Project Los Angeles, the YMCA International Division, children's mental health advocacy and foster care, and Asheville city housing. She pursued a parallel interest in the land as a professional landscaper, permaculturist and organic gardener, working with other community members ages 8-80 on living with the land, rather than on it. Through AmeriCorps Project Conserve as the Get Growing Program and Outreach Coordinator for Organic Growers School, Jillian hopes to gain additional experience with addressing sustainability through the lens of human need environmental preservation as a holistic view.
RiverLink - Assistant Volunteer Coordinator
Justin was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. He attended school at Appalachian State University where he studied Sustainable Development. During his degree program he helped create the first Homegrown Film Festival. It showcased many of the local environmental non-profits through student documentaries. He also traveled to Peru where he took part in researching the effects of climate change on glacial retreat in the Andes. After receiving his BS in 2013 he joined the Maryland Conservation Corps. During his year of service he spent a lot of time handling raptors and reptiles, guiding paddling adventures and challenge course team building activities, as well as felling trees and removing invasive species. After MCC Justin returned to WNC for his first year with Project Conserve where he served as the Volunteer Coordinator for RiverLink. He had such a fulfilling first service term that he decided to do it all again! He is excited to return for a second year so he can plan bigger and better events, host collaborative river cleanups, and create some more great imagery for RiverLink. He is also looking forward to exploring all the hiking trials and breweries that he missed during his first year in Asheville!
Polk County Recreation - Trails Coordinator
Seth comes from the rolling hills of Central Pennsylvania. By the time he graduated high school he knew that he wished to pursue a career in conservation. Seth went on to major in Geography-Environmental Science with a certification in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. During the summer of 2013, Seth was introduced to the wonderful world of trails as a Backcountry Trail Intern for the Maine Appalachian Trail Club. After this brief stint on the trail, Seth finished college and was accepted into the Montana Conservation Corps. Here he was part of a six person crew and performed a variety of conservation work with a primary focus on trails. Most recently, Seth was a Corridor Stewardship Technician (performing maintenance on the survey boundary line surrounding the trail) for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy throughout the New England region. In his free time, you can find Seth paddling around a body of water, listening to music, fly fishing, or hiking with his dog Sanuk. He is extremely excited to be a part of Americorps Project Conserve and to be the Trails Coordinator for beautiful Polk County!
Town of Lake Lure - Trails Coordinator
Hallie grew up in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana. She attended John Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI, where she explored her passion for nature through the fine arts with a major in photography. After college Hallie spent much of her time traveling, exploring across the United States and other countries while emerging herself in various cultures and landscapes. Hallie quickly grew a passion for Appalachian Mountains and engaged in volunteer projects throughout the region. It soon became clear that conservation was the next step in her life's journey. Working with non-profits such as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS), Hallie has helped maintain and improved trails, public lands and Wilderness Areas throughout the Appalachian Mountains from North Carolina to New York. Hallie's passion for Western North Carolina took hold the summer of 2015 when she maintained a series of Wilderness areas throughout the region. Being stationed in Pisgah Forest at the Cradle of Forestry, she grew a deep connection and appreciation for the lands and those who work to protect and maintain them. Hallie's career took her to the Tennessee side of Great Smokey Mountains National Park where she maintained trails for the Park Service. As amazing as The Smokies are Hallie missed the lands and community of WNC. She is excited to be back, serving in the foothills of the mountains as Trails Coordinator for the Town of Lake Lure and Rutherford County where she will be helping to expand and improve the growing trail system and community connection to public lands.