Darby Williams ’20 photographs, produces, and promotes environmental involvement at Blue Mountain Land Trust in Walla Walla, WA

Hello! My name is Darby Williams I am an Environmental Humanities major and a rising senior. This summer, I am an intern for the Blue Mountain Land Trust right here in Walla Walla. The Blue Mountain Land Trust works throughout the Blue Mountain Region to not only conserve wild and working landscapes but also to encourage outdoor recreation and educate both youth and adults in the region about the environments they inhabit.

As the media intern for this summer, I attend a variety of the Land Trust’s Learning on the Land and Nature Kids events. This means that I spend about half of my time in the office and the other half of my time outside documenting fun events. So far, I have been able to document events such as the Nature Kids BioBlitz at the Fort Walla Walla Natural Area, our tour of the Old Homestead Alpaca Farm, a class on botanical painting in Harris Park, the annual Land Camp (a convention of all the land trust in the Pacific Northwest), the Blue Mountain Field Science summer camp run by Whitman Professors Nick Bader and Tim Parker, and more! These events are fun and also serve as a great way to get to know and appreciate Walla Walla. In the office, I work on processing, downloading, and editing photos and videos as well as maintaining the Land Trust’s social media accounts. This role has been a great way to learn about how marketing works at a non-profit in the environmental world. As an Environmental Humanities major, it is really exciting to find new ways to tell stories about the natural world and the people who are working to conserve it. Videos and pictures can be really effective story telling techniques and help to spread the word about the organization and the work that they do.

This summer, I have been working on three videos to use for marketing and education for the land trust. These projects include: an overview of Blue Mountain Land Trust and their mission, a video about the Blues Crew (a group run through the Land Trust that works on building and maintaining trails), and a video that features the educational programs. It has been really wonderful to interview people and get footage for these videos because everyone who works for and volunteers with BMLT is extraordinarily passionate about the work that they do. Being able to capture that excitement and drive on camera is important for spreading the word and getting other people excited about the cool work that the Blue Mountain Land Trust is doing.

The summer seems to have just begun and I have already learned so much about conservation, environmental education, and producing media content. Alongside my fellow Whitman intern, I have gotten an inside look at how the Blue Mountain Land Trust runs as well as a deeper appreciation for the natural beauty and working lands of the Walla Walla Valley.

Experiences like Darby Williams’ are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Mitzy Rodriguez

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