Tom Fast


Tom Fast

I spent the summer of 2016 as an intern with the Blue Hill Heritage Trust. Even though my experience was just 10 weeks, I know I’ll take the experience with me for the rest of my life. When I first started, I didn’t know what to expect. My apprehension was quickly relieved when I met Jim Dow, George Fields, Chrissy Allen, and everyone else who contributed to the operations of the Blue Hill Heritage Trust. Their patience, kindness and endless knowledge made my time in Blue Hill fly by.

George and I, with the help of some local trail-building experts, constructed two brand new trails for the trust while maintaining the high quality of care for all existing trails. This meant long days of arduous work during an abnormally hot Maine summer. As an environmental policy student, I had an idea of the importance of recreation and wild spaces, but I didn’t fully appreciate the magnitude of work that goes into land conservation. From conducting easement monitoring reports to hauling buckets of rocks and helping set up a story trail for local elementary school students, the work I contributed to for BHHT gave me amazing insight into how a truly community-based organization should run.

While the work I did for the trust was rewarding, I learned the most from the people I had the fortune of spending time with. George was my companion that summer. We spent most of those long days on the trail with Oliver Broughton doing the important but often overlooked work of the trust. George’s positive attitude and amazing work ethic set a great example for anyone that wants to work in land conservation. The most fun I had that summer had to have been with Chrissy Allen. Not only did I get to tag along on the community outreach side of the Trust during work, but Chrissy was the utmost expert for all things Blue Hill. Whether I was asking about a good local pizza joint or a reliable fishing spot, Chrissy always pointed me in the right direction. Chrissy led by example, demonstrating the level of work and focus on community that makes an organization successful.

Finally, I was able to spend time with Jim Dow that summer. At the time, Jim was deep in a grant proposal. Even though his tenure with BHHT was coming to an end, Jim worked tirelessly, in all aspects, to ensure the future success of the trust. The best part of working with Jim was seeing him at community events. Talking and connecting with the people of the Blue Hill area seems to be the work Jim enjoyed most.

My time spent with the fine folks of BHHT has prepared me for what I hope to be a career in the environmental policy field. I’m grateful for the experience I had and hope to return to Blue Hill regularly.

Tom Fast was the BHHT Summer Intern for 2016, supported by MCHT. He grew up in Southern Maine and received his BA from Puget Sound University in Washington State in 2017. Tom is currently working as a Customer Success Manager with Marketo.