Written by Hoan Tran and Hannah Tyburski
Have you ever wondered what job might require hopping on a skidsteer at a community garden and mentoring a new hunter at sunrise all in the same week? Meet the maintenance team at John Heinz who spends their time making the refuge beautiful and functional for both humans and wildlife.
Our Refuge maintenance staff and volunteers keep trails, infrastructure, and facilities safe and accessible for everyone to use and enjoy year-round. They also collaborate with refuge biologists to regulate water levels for biological management and assist other refuges in the region to complete construction projects.
The team often works directly with high schoolers involved in work development programs like MobilizeGreen who are hired from neighboring communities. They train youth on the safe operation of power equipment and hand tools and have completed projects such as building natural turtle platforms and installing a split rail fence.
Another opportunity for the maintenance staff to share their knowledge with community members takes place annually while mentoring new hunters during the Refuge’s Mentored Archery Hunt.
They can also be spotted working with the community assisting with archery events and sharing their expertise, resources, and muscle to beautifying local green spaces like the Chester Avenue Community Garden.
Hoan Tran and Hannah Tyburski are part of the Maintenance team at the Refuge