Welcome our River Stewards of Tomorrow

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Three young adults have joined HVA as River Stewards for the summer. The River Stewards of Tomorrow program connects aspiring high school seniors and college-aged young adults to obtain real-world experience working side-by-side with HVA’s professionals and volunteers. This internship program is made possible with an annual grant from the River Stewards of Tomorrow Fund. This endowed fund was established in 2010 in memory of Philip Crane Jones, a passionate, young river guide, fisherman and environmentalist.

Two of the River Stewards are working in HVA's Cornwall Bridge office with HVA's Water Protection Director Michael Jastremski assessing culverts, working on a Still River management plan and taking water quality samples in tributaries of the Housatonic River.

Caroline Hilli was born and raised in Goshen, Conn. She is a junior at the University of Vermont majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus on Sustainability. She attended Wamogo Regional High School in Litchfield and was part of the agriscience program where her passion for watersheds began. She also took natural resources classes including fisheries and outdoor recreation and participated in many extra curricular activities. The most influential for her was Envirothon, a comprehensive competition that includes aquatics, current issue, forestry, soils and wildlife. These activities have led to her current major at UVM, where her environmental interests and studies continue. In August 2016, she will attend the University of Lapland, Finland for a semester of study abroad concentrating in Arctic Studies.


Brian Saccardi of Cornwall, Conn. is a senior at the University of Connecticut where he is majoring in Natural Resources with a concentration in Fisheries and Wildlife. Brian has gained experience by interning at Great Mountain Forest in Norfolk and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) at Sessions Woods. Through these experiences he has learned about forest and wildlife management helping build and install osprey platforms, perform timber cruises and do field work for research projects. Brian is pursuing a career in the field of Natural Resources Conservation, working as a forester or soil scientist or a wildlife biologist.

Brian said “I would eventually like to use my education as a teacher or professor. This will allow me to inspire more people to want to conserve the beauty of the world we live in and to educate people in responsible ways to use and conserve the environment to preserve it for this generation and future ones, so we may all enjoy the world we live in.”

The third is working in our South Lee office with HVA's Berkshire Director Dennis Regan finalizing a riverside trail pamphlet, developing a Southwest Branch River Stream Team, developing a Watershed based plan for the Southwest Branch, water monitoring in Pittsfield, monitoring two culvert/bridge replacement projects, and assisting in river cleanups, paddle trips and education projects.

Aaron D. Hume is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, class of 2015 earning a BS in Natural Resource Conservation, focused in Water Resources. He has gained experience interning for the Ipswich River Watershed Association performing stream barriers assessments to determine storm flow resiliency. Aaron has also volunteered for the Appalachian Mountain Club, The Nature Conservancy and The Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation. Through volunteer work he has gained experience in trail maintenance, invasive species removal and micro plastic sampling. Aaron hopes to use his education and experience for full-time river restoration.

He said, “Rivers and streams are some of our most vital natural resources as they provide drinking water as well as important habitat and flood control. Yet our history with our water resources seems to be one of abuse. I decided that the most meaningful purpose of my education and career would be to learn how to protect and restore these ecosystems on which we depend.” 



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