Kane County Students Gettin' Their Hands Dirty With a Summer Conservation Internship

Kane County Students Gettin’ Their Hands Dirty With a Summer Conservation Internship

Two Kane County students are spending the summer at McDonald Farm in Naperville interning with The Conservation Foundation, which means they’ll be spending plenty of time outdoors. They may even get a little dirty.

The interns will combine fieldwork and research to benefit the foundation’s efforts in land and water conservation while also getting some hands-on experience.

“We’re highly motivated and have a lot to offer The Conservation Foundation,” Anders Bailey, 23, of Sugar Grove, said. “The networking opportunities that are available are vast, and I hope we can use them to achieve our career goals.”


Anders Bailey of Sugar Grove graduated from Elmhurst College majoring in biology.

Bailey is a 2016 graduate of Elmhurst College, where he studied biology. He is the liaison between the interns and staff. In addition to organizing intern projects, Bailey is creating a guidebook smartphone app for the organization’s Beyond the Basics Guidebook.

Liz Thrun, 21, of Batavia, is an incoming senior at North Central College in Naperville
studying biology and environmental studies.


Liz Thrun of Batavia is entering her senior year at North Central College studying biology and environmental studies.

She is interning though the Associated Colleges of Illinois. Her work this summer includes restoring the native plant population at the farm, researching the health benefits of nature and conservation participation, and compiling photos for a stewardship presentation. She also works with the other interns to monitor bluebird nests and maintain the gardens at McDonald Farm.

The students work through August, collaborating with staff members to develop summer-long projects. In addition to maintaining the Farm’s native landscape and monitoring bluebird nests, the interns are conducting research on the health benefits of nature and the motives for participating in conservation. Their research will be presented to the board of trustees in September.

The Conservation Foundation, headquartered in Naperville, is one of the region’s oldest and largest not-for-profit land and watershed conservation organizations. Since it was founded in 1972, TCF has helped preserve nearly 33,000 acres of open space, restored and cleaned miles of rivers and streams, and educated thousands of kids by engaging them in nature and the outdoors.

Work is focused in Kane, DuPage, Kendall and Will counties to preserve and restore nature in your neighborhood. Find out more at theconservationfoundation.org.

SOURCE: The Conservation Foundation