What is your role at TLC?: I am the AmeriCorps member at TLC through a partnership with Conservation Trust for North Carolina. I help with community outreach and volunteer management, and am also responsible for planning and leading environmental education programs for our partner nonprofits that focus on supporting underserved youth in the Triangle.
Favorite TLC Preserve?: Each preserve has something special, but I think I would have to go with Horton Grove Nature Preserve. I love the combination of the native grassland with the forest habitat, and all the creek crossings. I also love the “That Makes Sense” trail because it’s a really great way to connect kids with the various ecosystems and animals out there. I think Horton Grove has something for everyone!
Melissa is a North Carolina native from right here in Durham. She grew up camping, hiking, swimming, and exploring all over North Carolina and loves the variety of outdoor opportunities the state provides. After graduating from NC State with an Animal Science degree, she spent time in two different wildlife rehabilitation internships. The first was at the NC Zoo working with local wildlife, and the second was in Florida working with sea turtles. Both experiences reinforced the need for environmental education in order to protect these animals and their habitat, so Melissa spent the summer working in the Education department at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. She then discovered CTNC AmeriCorps program and took the opportunity to come back to her home city and do her part to protect the surrounding land and wildlife while educating youth in her area. She is grateful for the opportunity and is excited to join the TLC team!