National Public Lands Day 2014


In celebration of National Public Lands Day 2014, check out our video about Corps and their importance to America's public lands.

Support The Corps Network Youth Council

During the month of September, The Corps Network is running a CrowdRise campaign to raise money to support the creation of our new Youth Council.

At our annual National Conference, The Corps Network honors a select group of young men and women from our member programs as Corpsmembers of the Year. These extraordinary individuals are strong leaders and excellent ambassadors of the Corps movement. We plan to build upon the Corpsmember of the Year model to establish a Youth Council.

We believe it is critical to solicit and include the input and ideas of the young people we serve. Therefore, through this campaign, we are seeking donations to develop our 2015 Corpsmembers of the Year into spokespeople who can influence programs and policy here at The Corps Network, as well as at the federal, state, and local level. The funds we raise will help offset their travel costs to Washington, D.C and allow these bright young adults to make their voice heard at the national level, get in front of important decision makers, and help steer the future of America's Service and Conservation Corps. 

Your gift to The Corps Network will enable us to foster the next generation of America's leaders.

The Corps Network has a New Mission Statement!

The Corps Network provides critical leadership to the Corps movement and our nation's Service and Conservation Corps as they harness the power of youth and young adults to tackle some of America's greatest challenges and transform their own lives.


All throughout the month of September, we will highlight the many ways Corps tackle some of America's Greatest challenges. The Corps Network and our member programs:

Restore and improve America's detriorating parks and natural spaces

Provide valuable career training and work experience to curtail high levels of youth unemployment

Give low-income and disadvantaged youth access to education and pathways to improved economic opportunities

Combat climate change and natural disasters, and promote community resiliency

Transform lives

Provide critical leadership to the Corps movement



Photos of the Month: August 2014

Keep updating those Facebook photos! We'll collect some of our favorite photos posted on Corps Facebook pages within the past month and post them on this blog. Here are some of our favorites from August 2014.


LA Conservation Corps

San Francisco Conservation Corps

Arizona Conservation Corps

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

Limitless Vistas


Larimer County Conservation Corps

Urban Corps of San Diego County - 
#WhereAreTheyNow? Urban Corps graduate Bernard is fighting fires!

Montana Conservation Corps

Wyoming Conservation Corps - 
Glass Recycling! 


Maine Conservation Corps

Texas Conservation Corps 

Operation Fresh Start



Youth Conservation Corps Restores Landscape of Adlai Stevenson II's Home

Local teens working with Youth Conservation Corps restored the white fence Adlai Stevenson II sat on for this historic photo shoot.

Originally published in the Lake County News-Sun
By Linda Blaser


Work to restore the historic home of Adlai Stevenson II surged ahead this summer through the blood, sweat — and possibly tears — of a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew.

The teenagers installed a 216-foot length of white slatted fencing, including sinking 27 8-foot-long fence posts, attaching three 1-by-14-foot slats per section and painting the entire fence white.

“It was quite a job,” YCC Manager Luke Bowman said.

The teens’ combined effort brings back an important historic element of the property, which is poised to receive a National Historic Landmark plaque at a special ceremony on Oct. 12. The house is located at 25200 N. St. Mary’s Road in Mettawa.

“We replicated the original fence in order to restore the look of the property to the way it was when (Stevenson) lived there,” said Katherine Hamilton-Smith, director of cultural resources at the Lake County Forest Preserves.

In fact, a famous photo of Stevenson sitting on the original fence graced the cover of LIFE magazine in 1965, after he died.

The YCC crew of three boys and three girls, plus crew leader and assistant crew leader, also spent several weeks clearing out invasive plants and trees that grew around a large oak Stevenson often stood beside to view the river.

“We made a lot of headway,” Bowman said of the clearing project.

Removing the fast-growing maples from around the slow-growing oak was essential to maintaining the historic tree and opening up the canopy so the oak will get the sunlight it needs.

It is the second year a YCC crew worked on clearing out the small-diameter sugar maples, buckthorn and other invasives that grew beneath the historic oak.

“This year we made it all the way to the river,” Bowman said of the clearing. “Now we’re working both directions to make the view wider.”

Work on the historic Stevenson home — particularly the fence — was one of the top priorities for the 2014 YCC summer program.

“I was willing to set the whole summer aside to get the fence right,” Bowman said.

A total of 36 teenagers from across Lake County spent eight weeks this summer working on restoration and construction projects to improve forest preserves throughout Lake County. For the past 15 years, YCC has partnered with the Lake County Forest Preserves to provide summer employment for high school students and to teach them valuable life skills.

“We’re working extra hard right now to maintain the property and have it look wonderful,” Hamilton-Smith said of the Stevenson home, which houses the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy.

The National Historic Landmark plaque presentation this fall will bring together a number of dignitaries, elected officials and other special guests to mark receipt of the prestigious honor.

“National Historic Landmark designation is a big deal,” Hamilton-Smith said. “This won’t happen again (in Lake County) any time soon.”

The Stevenson house is the second Lake County Forest Preserve District property to receive the designation — the first was a portion of the Fort Sheridan Historic District — and it is the first 20th-century Illinois politician’s home deemed a national landmark.

Corpsmember of the Year Eliseo Nunez Gives Keynote Address at Annual Passport to Life Career and Education Expo

More than 800 youth offenders attended the sixth annual Passport to Life event held on the San Diego City College campus. Speakers from the juvenile justice system spoke and attendees were able to participate in workshops and resource exhibits from literacy to job preparedness.— Peggy Peattie, UT-San Diego.

Taken from UT-San Diego
By Dana Littlefield 

SAN DIEGO — Like so many people who ended up addicted to drugs, Anakaren Ruano spent a lot of time chasing that first big high.

She started smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol when she was a high school freshman, and later started using ecstasy. Then, after her first stint at a rehabilitation facility at age 15, she tried methamphetamine.

“I felt like Wonder Woman,” said Ruano, now 19, giving a keynote address Friday to a large group of young people who’d had contact with the juvenile justice system. “It’s because of that feeling that people become addicted...

“To me, meth equaled me having fun.”

But it wasn’t long before the fun ran out. On one particularly gruesome occasion, Ruano found herself vomiting blood after mixing methamphetamine and cocaine. She said she was “locked up” nine times.

“Nothing was enough,” she said.

It was a sentiment — an attitude, maybe — that other teens and young adults in the room could probably relate to. Hundreds packed the bleachers in a San Diego City College gymnasium for the sixth annual Passport to Life Career and Education Expo, held to help youngsters who either are or had been on probation get tools they need to be productive, law-abiding adults.

“We’re not trying to scare you straight,” Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins told the crowd. “We’re trying to help you make better decisions.”

The event included workshops on such topics as pursuing education after high school, landing a job and gaining financial literacy. Several local organizations participated in the event, including the San Diego Superior Court, County Office of Education and the District Attorney’s and Public Defender’s offices.

“The message is to show these kids that the mistakes they’ve made in the past don’t have to define their future,” said Juvenile Court Judge Carolyn Caietti, who came up with the idea for Passport to Life one day while driving to work.

Eliseo Nuñez, 27, gave the second keynote address Friday morning. He admitted he didn’t like speaking in front of crowds, but he looked comfortable dressed in a button-down shirt, slacks and suspenders, his tattoos peeking from beneath his collar and a fedora perched on his head.

“I was that young man that was posted on the block 24/7,” the now ex-gang member from Oceanside said.

He talked about doing drugs at age 13 with his own father and getting locked up at 16. And he talked about being sent to state and federal prison. Then came the day when he realized how much life he was missing while he was behind bars. He saw that his own father had given up drug use in the years before he died of cancer.

In March 2012, Nuñez got clean, too. He finished high school, enrolled in college, and this year he received a national leadership award for his work with the Urban Corps of San Diego County, which teaches and counsels at-risk youth.

“I’m able to give back what was so freely given to me,” he said.

Ruano also welcomed the chance to give back. After years of drug abuse, including an alcohol-poisoning incident that almost ended her life, she has been sober for nearly two years. She went back to high school and graduated last year with her class.

“It was the best feeling of my life,” she said of walking across the graduation stage in cap and gown. “No drug had ever given me that kind of high.”

The day after graduation, her probation term ended. She recently completed her first year at MiraCosta College with a 3.5 GPA.

“You’re looking at a soul that’s not even supposed to be here, but I am,” Ruano said, adding that she’s not much older than many of those in the crowd.

“I got clean when I was 17 and I just want you guys to know that you can do it, too,” she said. “And you don’t have to hurt everyone in your way. You don’t have to hurt yourself and you don’t have to end up that person that’s six feet under because you never got it through your head to change.”

Photos of the Month: July 2014

Keep updating those Facebook photos! We'll collect some of our favorite photos posted on Corps Facebook pages within the past month and post them on this blog. Here are some of our favorites from July 2014.



Larimer County Conservation Corps 


Conservation Corps North Bay

American Conservation Experience

Montana Conservation Corps

Student Conservation Association

Utah Conservation Corps


Earth Conservation Corps

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps 

Mile High Youth Corps

Civic Works





Discovering the Boulder-White Clouds

Discovering the Boulder-White Clouds: A film about exploring one of America’s most pristine landscapes and inspiring the next generation of conservation leaders.  

In June 2014, The Corps Network took a group of eight Corpsmembers from Civic Works – a Service and Conservation Corps based in Baltimore, MD – for a camping trip in the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains of Central Idaho.

Discovering the Boulder-White Clouds follows the Corpsmembers as they explore an untouched wilderness unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. The film focuses on the parallels between the urban environment in Baltimore and the wilderness of a place like the Boulder-White Clouds, emphasizing the value of preserving the environmental health of both settings. By exploring the pristine public lands of Idaho, the Corpsmembers, who in Baltimore grow healthy food on an urban farm and retrofit low-income homes to improve energy efficiency, gain a new perspective on the importance of conservation.

About the Boulder-White Clouds

Photo by David Rochkind

The Boulder-White Cloud Mountains are currently under consideration to become a national monument. The proposed monument would cover over 570,000 acres of mountains, lakes, rivers forests and grassland. This area is one of the largest unprotected roadless landscapes in the lower 48 states.

About Civic Works
Civic Works has engaged Baltimore residents in community and environmental improvement projects for over 20 years. Through hosting community service projects and providing job training, Civic Works empowers people to be active participants in making their neighborhoods greener, healthier and economically stronger.

About the Corpsmembers
The eight Corpsmembers who travelled to the Boulder-White Clouds participate in a number of Civic Works programs: some of them grow healthy food on an urban farm; some retrofit low-income homes to make them energy efficient; some clean and landscape empty lots to create urban green spaces; some build homes; and some renovate homes for the elderly to remove potential tripping hazards. Through these projects, the Corpsmembers gain hands-on job skills and help make Baltimore a better place to live.

About the film
Discovering the Boulder-White Clouds was filmed and edited by David Rochkind.  

Film Premiere Press Release   
Click here to read.

Press & Related Materials

Spotlight On: Discovering the Boulder-White Clouds
      The Pew Charitable Trusts

Urban Youths Experience the White Clouds
     Idaho Mountain Express

Documentary Follows Urban Youth into Boulder-White Clouds Mountains
     KMVT-TV/KSVT-TV - Idaho's First News

Being Good Environmental Stewards, No Matter Where We Live
     Huffington Post - by Davon Baynes (Civic Works)

Molding Conservation Leaders
     Featured on: Corporation for National & Community Service Blog



The Corps Network is Moving!

It's time to update your address book! We have a new office!

Starting July 29, 2014, The Corps Network's address is: 

The Corps Network
1275 K Street, NW #1050
Washington, DC 20005

Our Phone/Fax numbers will remain the same:

PHONE| 202.737.6272     FAX| 202.737.6277

Following the move, some of The Corps Network staff is still experiencing email and calendar issues. Thank you for your patience. 


Check here for any updates. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.