Monday, March 12, 2012

Treehouse Chats–Christa Kermode

Actors have The Actor’s Studio, the Redskins have the Redskins Report, and politicians have Meet the Press.  Now the greenmomster’s got Treehouse Chats, a once-a-month introduction to someone working or volunteering in the environmental field.

DSC_0037 (2)This month’s Treehouse chat is with Christa Kermode.  She’s a Virginia State Parks Ranger and currently works as the Volunteer/Special Events Coordinator at Sky Meadows State Park.  As a volunteer with Sky Meadows (I take pictures at the park and park events), I got to know Christa a few years ago.  She’s always a friendly face, keeping the enthusiastic, but not necessarily focused, volunteers like me on task and enjoying our jobs.  Christa’s job is critical to the success of the park.  Thanks to budget cuts and a small full- and part-time staff, state parks rely heavily on volunteer hours to provide trail maintenance, educational programs, and guided hikes, just to name a few activities.

Let’s chat.  Christa, what’s your educational background? I graduated in 2002 with  my BA in Environmental Studies/Geography from UCLA. Wow, you’re a long way from California… Well, I was born and raised in Michigan.  Then my boyfriend (now husband) and I went to school out in California.  When it came time to find jobs, Virginia had a great one for my husband, and I found a job that I really enjoy with the state parks. 

What is it that you enjoy about your job?  I love working with our wonderful volunteer team and chatting with visitors (interviewer’s note:  Christa makes volunteering a fun and rewarding experience.  We get to know the park and its environment and history, take part in activities like the Dog Day at the park – see Christa’s photo with her dog, Pepper, and even enjoy a spaghetti dinner, made by Christa, at a local winery each year as a “thank you” for volunteering).

What is your favorite activity outside of work? (green or not green) Currently my favorite activities outside of work are reading outside and enjoying the fresh air.

Which place most inspires you to keep working for the environment?  I love Yosemite National Park, but I also love Sky Meadows here in VA.  I find the beautiful views and mountains of both places inspiring!

What’s your favorite non-meat meal (find it in the next Meat-free Friday post)?  Broccoli Cheese Casserole

What’s one green tip you can give to blog readers?  Now that the weather is turning warm, try planting a garden.  When it comes to food, grow your own or buy local!

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