Bream enjoys working in nature through his summer job at the grove

Julianne Arnold, staff writer

Imagine a part-time job where being outside and sharing the joy of nature are part of your daily routine.

For senior Austin Bream, working at the Grove is just that.

Located in Glenview, the Grove is a National Historic Landmark intent on preserving the natural lands and history of the village. There are various programs the Grove offers for people to learn about different subjects, including natural habitats and history.

Bream began work at the Grove earlier this year, first volunteering at the Grove’s station prairie and then moving to a position where he can interact with the landmark’s visitors.

According to Bream, his individual jobs vary. The biggest part of his job involves the Grove’s archives building, a place where all the archives of the Kennicott family are housed. The Kennicotts were the family who owned the 123-acres of ecologically diverse land that the Grove preserves.

“I dress like a pioneer and sit at the archives building and give tours of the [Kennicott] house if anyone asks for one,” Bream said. “But I also do sleepovers, though my first one is [soon] so I don’t know too much about them. Basically, we make a campfire and tell stories, and then the kids roast marshmallows and, hopefully, sleep.”

Bream also hopes to work with the Grove’s animal program. The program involves caring for animals, as well as being available to depict them to visitors should they ask.

“Eventually, I will work in the interpretive center where we care for the animals–snakes, turtles–and show them to visitors,” Bream said.

According to Bream, his decision to work at the Grove was influenced both by his love of nature and history and also by his brother.

“My brother worked [at the Grove] a few years ago, which made me kind of want to become involved, too,” Bream said. “But I also volunteered at the prairie, their station prairie, and because I worked in conjunction with the crew, I’ve kind of known about [the job position].”

According to Bream, another benefit to the job is being able to hang out with his coworkers, college students in their twenties with whom he says he always has a great time. But the other side to his devotion to his job is how much he loves learning and helping others to know about Glenview’s natural history.

“I like history, so I have really enjoyed learning all the history of the area,” Bream said. “[…] I personally believe I didn’t ever know enough about Glenview and its history as I should have, so I love helping others to follow the same path and become more aware of that history I think is so neat.”

But the best part, according to Bream, is what is to come this summer, when he continues his job more in depth working at the Grove.

“I’m looking forward to being outdoors during the summer and not just being stooped away,” Bream said.