We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Miggins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, have you had any interesting or funny online dating experiences?
As if it weren’t tough to date, already? In the context of our country being ravaged by Covid-19, there are many good things happening like the surge online to connect in a time when being told to social distance and ‘stay at home’. I traveled to Colorado just before the pandemic got real. I enjoyed taking a peek at those guys in Denver. My girlfriend I was visiting, at the time, said locals in Denver call it Menver because of the surplus of single males. I mean they definitely had similar classic images of riding waves, displaying trophy fish and flexing in the bathroom mirror. One caught the eye of my friend when she opened up the app at happy hour, as we typically do. She’s married and likes to swipe for me. He was the one with a blue star that means he “super likes” you. We were both like, “dang, he is so far away but looks compatible.” I finally got up the nerve to text the number he shared with me early on in Tinderverse. After the world changed, he asked me out on a date. We agreed to dress up and have dinner Friday night. I was excited all day and started cooking just before we met on FaceTime. It provided me with a bit of escapism after being locked up for a couple weeks already. I was a little bit nervous but liked that I was in the comfort of my own home. He called right on time as if he were picking me up in his car and on time. Checked that box off! He was immediately complimenting what I was wearing, how my hair was styled (messy hair, don’t care!) and loved that I dined Al fresco while the sun was setting behind me. “Something special is happening back there,” he said. The sky has never been so blue, clean and clear in LA! The backdrop of twinkling lights and a large heart on the side of the Marriott across from Mother’s Beach took shape as we were finishing dinner. I believe the hotel created that with room lights as a tribute to all those hurting right now. He said that the light looked beautiful on me, too. This made me blush. We both agreed that we had a great time and continue to share stories and dine at distance. I guess it’s true that you can find a silver lining in dark times because I certainly am enjoying reconnecting with new and old friends on Zoom as well as making time for family. I try to stay optimistic as I know that we are all in this together and I can’t wait to meet my new friend in person.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am proud and excited to share a project that was launched with my dear friends and CEOs of two major SoCal conservation corps; to help assist Angeles National Forest staff address backlog maintenance needs and critical fire restoration projects in an area with a significant wildland urban interface. The Southern California Conservation Corps Collaborative (SCCCC) combines the individual strengths, skills and resources of American Conservation Experience (ACE), Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC), and Conservation Corps of Long Beach (CCLB). Together, these individual corps started to work together in 2018 to restore the watersheds and ecosystems affected and burned by a series of wildfire events on the Angeles National Forest. Collectively, this work will provide sustainable and lasting ecological benefits, promote ecological resilience to future wildfire events, improve Angeles National Forest’s capacity to identify and address resource management issues stemming from these fires, particularly where they have a discernible connection to the goals of ecological restoration and resiliency. With a population of over 10 million people living in Los Angeles County alone, Angeles National Forest is heavily used for recreational and non-recreational activities. Therefore, the need to protect the Forest’s natural resources, restore sensitive areas impacted by wildfire, and address the major maintenance backlog is immense and we are so proud to work alongside our fellow conservation corps. We are stronger, together! As California and other states continue to confront increasingly destructive environmental disasters, the normative “one-contract, one-entity” model to restore damaged natural resources no longer provides enough viable time, labor, money, or skills to effectively cover mass amounts of affected geography, topography, and biodiversity. This important body of work continues annually, after the snow melts, and is funded by a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) restoration grant with various matching contributions that each corps provides. The Corps Collaborative had never worked together prior to this opportunity through NFWF. Community led revitalization efforts are not new to Angeles National Forest – rather, a tradition. Our public lands depend on the support and helping hands of volunteers, community based organizations and nonprofits. There have been many activities and projects implemented on this National Forest by various groups but what makes this one so unique is that it combined all three corps working in and around this National Forest. We anticipate continuing this work as more funding comes available so that we can continue to make significant impacts on the landscapes, watersheds and ecosystems serving the Los Angeles basin communities and environment. Together, all of these individual organizations and agencies are making meaningful and measurable impact through their shared vision to advance a wide array of post-fire restoration project activities. Each corps prioritized activities that focused on fire restoration and watershed protection, which included: invasive treatments of state listed restricted plants and invasive species removal, vegetation removal, controlling and eradicating invasive plants, seed collection/propagation, micro-trash removal, trail systems improvements and aquatic organism passage improvements and restoration of riparian corridors.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If Jen came to town, we would stay close to the beach since she’s visiting from Cleveland. Without a doubt, we would rally and head over to the patio at Moonshadows for sunset and cocktails first night together. Since she is 3 hours later, it would be an early night so that we could get up next day to hit the trails with my doggy, Reese. We would head over to dog friendly Westridge Trail, deep in the Santa Monica Mountains, above Pacific Palisades and Brentwood for an out and back that is approximately 8 miles in length. Since we worked up an appetite, we would continue up PCH and hang out at Malibu’s Paradise Cove for brunch in the sand. The next few days would include a walk between Venice and Santa Monica piers with a pit stop at the skate park followed by appetizers and drinks at The Venice Whaler. Next, a visit to see another mutual friend from high school living in Topanga Canyon. We will swing by Cholada Thai Beach Cuisine to grab take out for all of us to enjoy at Kelly’s house. Before Jen heads home, we will take a couple scooters over to FIG in Santa Monica for the best happy hour on the west side. Then it will be back to reality and maybe start a diet! LOL.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The American Conservation Experience (ACE) is modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), also called the C’s. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the CCC as a work relief program that gave millions of young men employment on environmental projects during the Great Depression. Considered by many to be one of the most successful of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, the CCC planted more than three billion trees and constructed trails and shelters in more than 800 parks nationwide during its nine years of existence. The C’s helped to shape the modern national and state park systems we enjoy today. We are fortunate to have a number of these 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21 CSC), like ACE, operating across the country and they will rise to the call when we can all get back to the field safely. Over 20,000 young adults serve annually and we can’t wait to get our young and aspiring Americans back to their volunteer service that was cut short due to the pandemic. I offer deep gratitude to my my colleagues in conservation, corpsmembers, volunteers, partners and donors that conserve, rebuild, and enhance the natural resources, infrastructure, and recreation assets of the United States.
Jessica Plance The images of me in the jeep, Marriott w heart and red hard heart are mine.