Thursday, September 28, 2017

Reflecting on my Summer Internship at Save The Bay

Timothy Belliveau, Save The Bay development intern

As I reflect on my summer with Save The Bay and the community I’ve become so close with over the past months, I’m grasped by a pungent sense of gratitude. The experience I’ve taken away from my summer program has been admittedly, one I could not foresee in the closing months of the academic year. In my search for a summer internship, I held preconceived perceptions of necessary dues rather than the meaningful and the rewarding experience that I’ve been fortunate enough to have with Save The Bay.

The early stages of the summer taught how a non-profit organization works, and more specifically, the immense volume of aptitude and commitment required for that organization to answer the calls of its mission. In Save The Bay’s case, these answers come in variable formats; in the research required to develop proper means of response towards the issues threatening the Bay’s health and protection, in the fostering and growth of the intimate relationships that make our mission possible, and in the affirmation of those works, seen in events such as the Ninigret Marsh Project, where the Rhode Island community conjoined to plant 23,000 plugs of spartina grass in a rejuvenation effort.

My internship allowed me to spend my hours volunteering at the Ninigret Marsh Project to see first-hand, the impact of our everyday work at the Bay Center. That experience instilled me and my work with a sense of importance, and from that experience, I saw every interaction and task, direct or otherwise, holding a tangible effect on the prosperity of Rhode Island’s landscapes. It’s easy to become lost in the fog cast by the steps necessary for the success of an end goal. That’s why seeing the instillation of a sea of green to a formerly desert marsh, left a potent impression on the forthcoming tasks, regardless of stature.

A year ago, I would look over Narragansett Bay in awe of its sublime beauty and wonder of its stories. Now, I know. The Bay is truly a life-force in multiple manners of the expression. Not only does it sustain the life of our home’s natural organisms, but it provides immense economic stimulation, catalyzes our community’s culture and social architecture, and therefore, acts as a mine for seemingly indirect elements such as social programs. These realizations were made definitive and evident through lessons taught at events such as Taste of The Bay, CVS Green-Expo and Environmental Day at Narragansett Beach. Becoming literate in the impact and influence of the Bay has provided perspective of the true reach of the body, in contrast to the singular vantage point I held as I marveled at the Bay’s sheer magnificence. Finding meaning, education, and growth in a summer program is something I haven’t taken for granted. I’d like to thank Save The Bay for providing me this internship experience which I’ve truly cherished.

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