Meet Silas, GIS & Dendrology Intern!

Silas Courey has joined the Friends team as one of our GIS (geographic information system) & Dendrology interns! Silas will be graduating this December from Cornerstone University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology.

If you’ve been out planting trees with us this fall, you’ve likely met him. Read on to get to know him more!

What led you to this work at Friends?

I am passionate about finding innovative solutions to urban planning problems with an emphasis on green infrastructure. The work that Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is doing is exactly the type of work I hope to continue throughout my career and this internship was an obvious choice for me.


what do you see as the next step in your career after friends?

My next step is to continue my education by pursuing a Masters in Urban Planning. The work that we do at Friends consists of many moving pieces which all must coincide to get trees in the ground. Watching and aiding in this process has been a great learning opportunity in project management.


What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?

At Friends, I am learning a ton about how the non-profit sector works! The inner-workings of non-profits are a new field for me, and something that I am excited to get to learn about and take into the future.


what’s your favorite park (we know it’s hard to pick just one!)?

My favorite park is White Pine Park because it holds one of the last pure White Pine stands in the county!


Food choices can tell a lot about someone. What’s your recommendation for the best food around town?

I’m not good with favorites but Le Kabob on 28th is one of my go-to Mediterranean spots.


If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

If I could be an instantaneous expert at anything it would be composing and conducting orchestral music.

What book, podcast, or TV (Netflix counts!) show are you into right now?

Joe Rogan is my current go to podcast, I am definitely a daily listener.


If you could only eat one item for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If I could only eat one item for the rest of my life it would most likely be pizza, I feel like there is enough variation possible to keep it from getting boring.


If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?

The three most necessary apps on my phone are Spotify, Cash, and probably my PNC banking app (lame, but highly convenient)


What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?

On the weekend you’ll find me working at Terra Firma Bouldering Company ,rock climbing, playing music, reading, or just hanging at my apartment with the roomies.


Friends of Grand Rapids Parks has an active internship program and we’re always accepting resumes for the next season! Interested? Check it out here.

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