Field Reports Nature Conservation USA Alice

California

Volunteering in California

There are only three days left until the big trip to America starts! By now I wasn’t that excited but today I’m starting to be kind of nervous but I’m looking forward to my journey to California, too. It was a dream of mine to visit America one day and I’m really happy that I found such a good way to see the beautiful golden state and do some volunteer work. Since I was a child I’m interested in nature and animals so NATUCATE was the perfect choice for me. It’s great to be more than a tourist and I hope I will meet a lot of people and get new impressions. Besides I hope that I can be a part of California´s nature conservation and make a contribution to a better world in that way. I can’t wait to be in Santa Cruz and learn more about our projects and the American landscape. Now there are just a few things left to do and I’m happy that I made the decision to go to California!

 

First project is done!

After nine days in Napa County I know a lot about native and non native plants, I saw different animals and – most important – I met a lot of people. The weather was nice and I enjoyed the nights in the tent. Our camp was close to a beautiful sea and the landscape was exciting. After the days outside it’s nice to be in the house again. Santa Cruz is such a nice place and here is a lot to explore. The nature is great and there are a lot of interesting stores and restaurants in the city. I’m looking forward to my next project near to San Diego and the off-days in Tahoe!

Back in Germany

The six weeks in America are over now and I had a good time there. I’m happy that I made the decision to go there and Santa Cruz is a really nice place and I enjoyed the off days there. There’s a lot to do like hiking, shopping or going to the beach. After a few days in the house there it feels like my new home and I met a lot of nice people from all over the world. It’s a good experience to live and work with them because you get to know each other a lot more than you would if you are just a tourist. Sometimes there are free concerts on the beach of Santa Cruz and it’s really nice to be around the boardwalk and the beach.

 

Teamwork

The work was sometimes exhausting but it’s good to work in a team and see the progress you made. One of projects I joined was on top of a mountain near to San Diego and we were flown up there with a helicopter and that was amazing. We spent a few days in the impressive nature without any other people, restrooms or showers around. It was a great experience because it’s impossible to do projects like this on your own. We worked on a trail there but sometimes it was too hot to work. My next project was in San Francisco and after work we had a lot of time to explore the city.

 

Our campground was near the golden gate bridge and there was a beautiful beach. On my last project we were removing non-native plants again to make sure that the native plants can survive. The work was sometimes boring but the landscape was nice and we talked a lot and had fun.
I saw a lot of different animals like a rattlesnake, sea lions, a lot of squirrels, frogs and lizards. And I also learned a lot about different kinds of plants and why we should protect them. It’s really interesting to learn more about poison plants and the differences between the vegetation in California and Germany. I saw a lot of beautiful places and different landscapes like mountains, desert and forest. The campsite was different on every project and I really liked it to spend all the time outside during cooking, eating and working.

All in all I enjoyed my time in America and I’m happy about all that experiences!

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