This post was written by Ryan Delaney, ESLT’s 2017-2018 Education Coordinator & AmeriCorps Member.

Learn more about Ryan and the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) program.

Since graduating college in Montana, I’ve always sought ways to serve the communities I lived in. Serving as an AmeriCorps member with Eastern Sierra Land Trust has allowed me to connect my passion to serve with my love of education and nature. With only a few weeks to go, I can’t help but reflect on all the wonderful experiences I’ve had these past 11 months.

I have truly enjoyed learning more about Bishop and its unique community. When I moved here I admittedly only knew Bishop as a home for climbers. Through this position, I’ve worked alongside educators with the Eastern Sierra Watershed Education Program and talented botanists and biologists with local land management agencies. My time here has shown me that the community is every bit and varied, diverse, and beautiful and the incredible landscapes we all enjoy.

I’m also lucky to have shared laughs with the littlest members of our communities. When I first moved to Bishop, I became a docent in an outdoor program called Taking Root. I visited the same third grade class each month teaching them about plants, animals and the art of rock skipping. It was an absolute thrill to explore the outside world with these budding naturalists. I even found out a few things I didn’t know myself, like that sunflower petals smell exactly like root beer!

I can already feel that ESLT will have a lasting impact. I’ve learned so much: from pollinator-friendly gardens to organizing events and working with local students. It has been an absolute pleasure to serve such a warm and welcoming community. Thank you to everyone who in this community who made my brief time here so special.

Although I’m unsure where my travels will take me next, I do know that I will take these memories of the Eastern Sierra with me in my heart.