Frisco: High Country Conservation Center summer internship a success |

Frisco: High Country Conservation Center summer internship a success

Janice Kurbjun
summit daily news

Summit High School senior, Land Le Coq, received High County Conservation Center’s first scholarship of $1,000 for her summer internship at the nonprofit organization.

She was one of four applicants for the scholarship this year.

“Land’s application was amazing,” said former High Country Conservation Center executive director Jennifer Santry, who now serves as the community programs director. “She wrote an essay about her interest in food and growing up on the land she lives on, which is north of Silverthorne.”

As evidenced by her name itself, Le Coq has been passionate about the outdoors and recognizes its place in her everyday life growing up on the 500 acres of Otter Creek Ranch.

“I am very interested in the environment and protecting the planet,” the youth wrote in her application for the scholarship. “I love nature too much to sit back and let the modern world take its beauty and resources for granted. I believe that the education of younger generations will not only create a new environmentally-friendly way of living, but encourage older generations to act as well. I want to pursue life constantly being proactive on major issues.”

Funded this year by Summit Landscaping owners Rod and Michelle Vargas, Le Coq’s “The Living Classroom Scholarship” will go toward

Le Coq’s college tuition. She intends to apply to Pennsylvania’s Bucknell University or California Polytechnic Institute to study environmental studies or human ecology.

She said the internship helped her not only earn money for those goals, but knowledge that – along with her experience working with the environmental component of her father’s women’s bags and luggage company – will help drive her path.

Through her 40 hours of work this summer in The Living Classroom greenhouse, selling produce at the Dillon Farmers Market and shadowing Santry, she learned about the full circle of local food production and the impact it can have.

“I had no idea how (food production) really affected the community and the environment as a whole,” she said, explaining that she learned about the jobs that can come from local food production and reduced energy consumption by buying locally instead of buying goods shipped from afar.

She also enjoyed seeing the excitement surrounding HC3’s work from her booth at the Dillon Farmers Market, she said.

With the help of local business sponsors, HC3 hopes to continue to grow the scholarship fund and internship program for a high school or first-year Colorado Mountain College student in future years. Businesses who want to support the initiative can donate through The Summit Foundation to the scholarship fund.

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