Dino Sefer, 23, was full of enthusiasm as he spoke of his position as an intern with Union College’s Recreation Management Department. “I love it out here. I love working outside.”
Sefer, a junior at Union College is in charge of maintaining and up-keeping the hiking and mountain bike trails at The Union College Turner Outdoor Center.
For Sefer, just being outside is the reward for his hard work, “It’s an unpaid internship, but I love the outdoor. Plus, it’s a free workout.”
Sefer came to Union as a freshman in 2012 to play soccer. Although he already had a love for the outdoors, he had yet to broaden his horizon.
“When I came to Union I was introduced to caving through Andy Messer, which I absolutely loved. I love hiking, canoeing and I hope to get into rock climbing.”
The modern trail system at the property has been a collaboration between Union College and Barbourville Tourism. For the past three years Union’s head cycling coach Sean Trinque has been working to turn the property into a public park that will be owned and operated by Union but will be completely free and open to the public. It was through Trinque and his collaboration with Union College professor and head of the outdoor program Andy Messer, that the position for an internship was created.
“I was grateful,” explained Sefer, “I was about to be a senior and was running out of time to get an internship.”
Sefer has been working on the trails since mid-June and will continue to do so until he obtains the 180 hours needed to receive credit.
“This is a great opportunity for both Dino and the community.” Said Trinque, “Dino has been doing a great job fixing and maintaining the existing trail system, so the trails are in great shape for anyone interested in hiking or mountain biking.”
Sefer said he was grateful for his position, “It has honestly been relieving to spend time out here. With so much going on in life, this is my only time for peace and quiet.”
The Union College Turner Outdoor Center is located off 25E north towards Corbin, behind Big Dawg Pawn Shop.