Protecting nature through research, education, and outreach

My Lloyd Center Journey

least-tern-incubates-horseneck

click to enlarge; least tern incubates at Horseneck

My Lloyd Center Journey
by Connor Worden

As a child, I spent many summers at Demarest Lloyd State Park chasing bugs and catching fish in my small butterfly net.  As I would look out over the water, I could always see the Lloyd Center, but I was still blind to exactly what it was.  It wasn’t until my years at Sea Lab, that I was able to visit the Lloyd Center in person.  Almost every year, the Sea Lab program would bring us to the Lloyd Center, my most awaited for field trip.  At the Lloyd Center, we were able to learn about different species of birds, fish, bugs, amphibians, and reptiles that captivated my young mind.

plovers-2016

click to enlarge

As high school approached, I knew that I wanted to work with wildlife and the natural world around me.  I attended Bristol Aggie for Natural Resource Management, where my love for the environment continued to flourish.  During my years of high school, I began working the summers at Horseneck Beach State Reservation as a lifeguard.  Working as a lifeguard, I was able to watch Jamie Bogart, from the Lloyd Center, protect and research the endangered Piping Plover.  It was then that I knew that I wanted to be working in the field with endangered species.  I decided to go off to school in upstate New York, to the State University of New York at Cobleskill, where I got my Bachelors Degree in Wildlife Management.

Coming home from college, I knew that the organization that I wanted to work for most was the Lloyd Center for the Environment.  I applied to be one of the Piping Plover monitor interns for this past summer and was lucky enough to get the position.  It was one of the best experiences I have ever had!  The Lloyd Center still fills me with the wonder it filled me with when I was but a child.  I still love walking through the Center and reading all about the animals that are on exhibit.

I’d like to thank Jamie Bogart for all of his guidance this season and a very special thank you to Heidi Cortright for all of her help volunteering and monitoring the plovers, in every weather condition, with me.