To celebrate National Forest Week, here are a few stories from some of our Members about one forest in particular, Shawnee National Forest in Illinois.
My favorite place I served in June was Shawnee National Forest. I was very excited when I learned that I would soon be off for a 10-day project in a National Forest that I hold close to my heart. Shawnee NF was the very first place I ever went camping and I have been back handfuls of times since. I am thrilled that I got to work in and contribute to a place I have been enjoying for years. The time spent on this project in general helped me to grow as a person, a Member, and leader more than most other projects I have been on during my time with ACSTL.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I lacked a real understanding of spring. Around my parent's home in the forest, the trees were always green and the undergrowth thick with moss. The springtime I have encountered in the Midwest is a technicolor green, bright as an old film photo. Walking in the Shawnee Forest, I felt like a kid again, discovering a whole new understanding of the world around me. I was truly in awe of Shawnee's wilderness areas and was captivated by a new understanding of spring and its relation to the Midwest. For the first time, I understood spring to be a "deep thawing" of winter and the creation of a new environment.