Growing Greener with Green & Grow

5, Mar, 2012 Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

The Blue Hills

One of the goals of the Green & Grow Apprenticeship program is to foster the development of a healthy and meaningful connection to our natural world. In essence, we bring this connection to work with us every day.

The Apprentices are taking part in a number of activities to prepare them for their primary nature excursion—set to take place in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Everyone is excited to explore the forest over February vacation week.  Diana, age 18 of Roslindale, said, “I’m looking forward to being surrounded by wilderness for three days, it’s going to be so peaceful.”

The Apprentices have practiced proper layering techniques specific to winter hiking and have also participated in learning sessions centered on proper hydration and nutrition specific to winter excursions.  In preparation for our three day expedition, we embarked on a shorter journey to the nearby wilderness: the Blue Hills Reservation.


Kent explains to the Apprentices how to interpret the trail map

In addition to orienteering (using a map and compass to find your way in unfamiliar territory), the Apprentices practiced the mountaineering step, a technique used to maximize output and minimize the pressure on the bones and joints.

mountaineering step

The Apprentices practicing the mountaineering step as they trek up a hill on the Skyline Trail at the Reservation

When they reached the top, everyone was excited to see the beauty that the snow had created by collecting on the tops of the coniferous trees.  The team also envisioned their impact on the forest environment by taking part in a listening exercise and attempting to walk silently through the forest—which we all learned isn’t easy in rain gear!


Practicing our listening skills by attempting to hear the quietest sounds in the woods

Special thanks goes out to the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Youth Opportunities Program for lending us the hiking equipment, and Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and specifically the folks at the Blue Hills Reservation for taking such nice care of the park!


Our team members clockwise, from left: Kent, Francisco, Randi, Hugues, Sam, Noelia, and Diana (not shown, Jess and Asha).

The Apprentices are now ready to conquer the White Mountains of New Hampshire, stay tuned to hear about their next adventure!