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Introducing Friends’ Intern – Patrick

 

patrick

Once again, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks has hired a summer intern. Patrick Shults will be assisting us with urban forest project programming, volunteer events, and assisting in other ways throughout the Friends. After starting in early May, he’s already put in a solid month of great work. If you haven’t already run into Patrick, we’d like to give you a little introduction.

Raised in the Flint area, Patrick was able to see firsthand the need for greening initiatives in the city. Drawing off his love of nature and farming, he decided to attend school for forestry in hopes to someday use urban forestry and agricultural methods to bring sustainability to impoverished urban areas, thereby overcoming pollution and food deserts in the process. Patrick is currently attending Michigan State University and is scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2015. In the meantime, he’s decided to come to Friends of Grand Rapids Parks to gain some firsthand experience in managing natural resources and public spaces in urban settings.

Before interning at FGRP, Patrick worked previous internships at the Michigan Nature Association and Fenner Nature Center, both based out of the Lansing area. At the MNA he helped to conserve valuable ecosystems along the Shiawassee River Watershed by creating management plans and coordinating volunteer efforts to remove invasive species. During his time at Fenner Nature Center he helped to create environmental education curriculums and teach classes to children interested in forests and nature.

After graduation, Patrick hopes to attend graduate school in an urban sustainability program, where he can continue to learn how to help cities transition towards a more sustainable future. But as for this summer, he’s spending his days working with local volunteers beautifying parks and building communities, sharpening his urban forestry skills, and discovering all that Grand Rapids has to offer.

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