Outdoor Alliance for Kids Celebrates Great Outdoors America Week at Bladensburg Waterfront Park

By Bobby Tillett
The Corps Network, Government Relations Intern

Yesterday, June 25, 2014, The Corps Network, along with other partners from the Outdoor Alliance for Kids (OAK), joined over 300 local youth at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park to celebrate Great Outdoors America Week. The event included a wide variety of activities such as canoeing, mountain biking and rock climbing, as well as outdoor exhibits and learning experiences to help connect youth with the outdoors. As a member of OAK’s steering committee, The Corps Network aids in OAK’s mission to increase quality outdoor opportunities for youth and families across the U.S.

Overlooking a beautiful stretch of the Anacostia River(complete with osprey soaring overhead), non-profit organizations, foundations, and federal agencies gathered to teach youth from a variety of backgrounds about the importance of having fun outside and protecting our environment. Earth Conservation Corps, a D.C.-based member organization of The Corps Network, showcased two birds of prey as part of their Raptor Education Program. Mr. Hoots, the Eurasian Eagle Owl, and Sky, the Red-Tail Hawk, were a big hit and garnered much attention from youth and adults alike. Our hope is that these types of outdoor experiences provide children with great memories and an interest in creating a life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors.


The event concluded with a presentation on the importance of Great Outdoors America Week in raising awareness about the need to provide outdoor opportunities to all young people. Speakers included Gina McCarthy, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency; Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works); Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minn. and President of the National League of Cities; Peter Rogoff, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy; Peter Martin, Executive Director of the Sierra Club Foundation; Greg Lais, Executive Director of Wilderness Inquiry; Jamie Williams, President of the Wilderness Society, and David Jayo, Chief-of-Staff for Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Interior.

Photos of the Month: June 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 June.


Civic Works - Corpsmember Davon Baynes being interviewed by the Today Show at the Real Food Farm.

Civicorps - "Our very first Honor Society graduates: Tyrisha and Derricka!"

Maine Conservation Corps - "MCC Director Jo Orlando and MCC Environmental Steward AmeriCorps national service member Anna Farrell at a Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory site"

Youth Employment in Parks - "He's back! Mr. Pickles is at Potter Marsh Day with the YEP Crew!"


Nevada Conservation Corps - "Another good day in the office. Nevada Conservation Corps clearing trail at Red Rock Canyon NCA."

Montana Conservation Corps - "Fresh off graduation from the Colorado Firecamp"

Texas Conservation Corps

Utah Conservation Corps - "UCC Crews working on Russian Olive and Tamarisk Removal."

Green City Force - "GCF Corps Members are greening NYC one NYCHA development at a time! Today our Urban Farm Corps team is farming & composting in Red Hook, while Senior Team Leader Lawrence's team rebuilds garden beds and beautifies the gardens at Marble Hill."

Urban Ranger Corps

Greening Youth Foundation - "An expanded partnership is underway among the Greening Youth Foundation, Lyndon B. Johnson Job Corps Center, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests, and Blue Ridge Ranger District we all share the similar goal of providing meaningful connections and employment opportunities with diverse groups of youth."

The Corps Network, MCC, SCC and CCC!

The Corps Network's 1st Annual Great Outdoors Day of Service in 11 Pictures

The volunteers!

Corpsmembers from Groundwork and Civic Works serving in Fort Dupont

Mary Ellen, our President and CEO, painting at the FDR memorial. 

Corpsmembers from New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg helping beautify the Potomac riverfront. 

Our leaders, Mary Ellen and Marie, with volunteers from Guest Services, Inc.

Tina Terrell of the USFS, Butch Blazer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bill Basl of AmeriCorps and Joe Gersen of The Corps Network

Bill Basl of AmeriCorps with The Corps Network's Carolyn Benard.

The Corps Network's summer intern Bobby Tillet holds the Day of Service shovel as it is signed by a Corpsmember from Harpers Ferry Job Corps.

The shovel, signed by volunteers, is presented to David Jayo (DOI) by representatives of LA Conservation Corps

As the rain comes down, New Jersey Youth Corps finds shelter by the FDR Memorial with Ranger Pierce.

We hope to see you at the 2nd Annual Day of Service! 

Click here to read the event recap!

In recognition and celebration of Great Outdoors Month, The Corps Network (TCN) hosted the first annual Great Outdoors Day of Service in the Nation’s Capital on June 13, 2014. The event featured speakers such as Butch Blazer, U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary of Natural Resources; Bill Basl, Director of AmeriCorps; Tina Terrell, National Forest Service Job Corps Director; Derrick Crandall of the American Recreation Coalition; and Mary Ellen Sprenkel of The Corps Network. 

Following the opening ceremony, volunteers spread throughout the National Mall and Washington, DC to complete service projects. While some teams stayed at the National Mall to paint fences at the FDR Memorial and collect litter along the Tidal Basin and Potomac River, other teams headed to Fort Dupont in Southeast DC to assemble recreation equipment. Volunteers included staff and Corpsmembers from the following Corps programs 

  • American Conservation Experience - Arizona
  • Earth Conservation Corps - Washington, DC
  • Civic Works - Maryland
  • Groundwork - Anacostia - Washington, DC
  • Harpers Ferry Job Corps - West Virginia
  • Los Angeles Conservation Corps - California
  • Maryland Conservation Corps - Maryland
  • Montgomery County Conservation Corps - Maryland
  • New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg - New Jersey
  • The Student Conservation Association - Nationwide
  • The Work Group - New Jersey 
  • Washington Parks and People - Washington, DC

...as well as people from organizations including Guest Services, Inc. and The Corps Network. 

Click here for more photos and to read a recap of the day's events, written by The Corps Network's Judith Rontal. 

Click here to see even more photos on The Corps Network's Facebook page.

Click here for the Day of Service invitation information. 

Information on The Corps Network's Great Outdoors Day of Service in the Nation's Capital


The Corps Network is hosting the FIRST ANNUAL Great Outdoors Day of Service in the Nation's Capital!

In recognition and celebration of Great Outdoors Month, The Corps Network (TCN) will hold its first annual Great Outdoors Day of Service in the Nation’s Capital.  We would be honored if you would join us for all or part of the day.

  • When:  Friday, June 13, 2014, 11am – 4pm
  • Where: FDR Memorial – We will convene at the FDR Memorial on the National Mall
  • What:  The kick-off event, designed to inspire the group and get everyone into the spirit of service in the great outdoors, will feature several prominent speakers and showcase a number of innovative and successful service projects on public lands. 

                        Interior Secretary Sally Jewell (likely)
                        NPS Director Jon Jarvis (invited)
                        CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer (likely)

Following the kick-off event, Corpsmembers and volunteers will receive boxed lunches and be transported to work on a variety of service projects on the National Mall, at Fort DuPont Park, and other National Park Service sites throughout the District.  Please join us for this event! 

Despite the short notice, we are hoping to get representation from as many Corps across the county as possible.  Please consider attending the Day of Service with several or many of your Corpsmembers.

We've already received confirmations from

  • Harpers Ferry Job Corps
  • Earth Conservation Corps
  • Groundwork Anacostia
  • New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg

For additional information, please contact:
Mary Ellen Sprenkel
President & CEO
The Corps Network
1100 G Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 737-6272

or Click here for The Corps Network's GO Month Toolkit 


Can't Come to D.C.?
Follow the Great Outdoors Day of Service on social media:

  •  Use the hashtag #dayofservice
  •  Share your posts with us @TheCorpsNetwork
  •  Follow the Day of Service on The Corps Network’s Facebook page

Sample Tweets or Facebook posts:
On @TheCorpsNetwork #dayofservice, @CORPSNAME is removing invasive species #GreatOutdoorsMonth [attach photo]

Today we celebrate @TheCorpsNetwork #dayofservice by fixing a trail at XYZ Park #GreatOutdoorsMonth [attach photo]

For @TheCorpsNetwork #dayofservice, we celebrate our corpsmembers and the chance to #getoutdoors and serve. [attach photo]

Photos of the Month: May 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 May.


Greater Miami Service Corps
Corpsmember Graduate Sherry Glover - our first Southern New Hampshire University College for America graduate. Please congratulate her on earning her Associates Degree. 
If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you. Les Brown

Earth Conservation Corps

Mile High Youth Corps

Earth Corps

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa


Montana Conservation Corps
...here's a helpful tip for the coming field season.

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps - Taos, NM

American YouthWorks

CONGRATS to our Instructional Lead Rachel Friedman who just won the first ever Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Award! This national award was co-sponsored by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and Schools That Can for educators who have turned adversity into opportunity. 

Limitless Vistas

Anchorage Park Foundation/YEP

Heart of Oregon Corps






Photos of the Month: April 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 April.

LA Conservation CorpsBig thanks to the crew from LA Conservation Corps for hustling all day long on Saturday to move supplies and trash at FoLAR's #LARiver CleanUp. LACC folks get it done! (Photo by Grove Pashley)

ACE - American Conservation Experince
ACE's FRIDAY CAPTION CONTEST! What is going on with ACE Intern, Angie in this photo?

Earth Conservation Corps 

Kupu - Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps

So much thanks to Jim Zeller and the One People Canoe Society for taking our Alaska Service Corps Crew Leaders paddling this weekend. It was an experience that they will never forget!

Heart of Oregon Corps

Limitless Vistas

Montana Conservation Corps

Conservation Corps North Bay

Green City Force
It's been a long winter, but it's officially Spring at the NYCHA Farm! Corps Members have been on the farm this week doing a spring clean-up and resident engagement. We can't wait to get veggies in the ground! #GCFSpring

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps - Colorado

At Jean Lafitte Nat'l Historic Park And Preserve

Western Colorado Conservation Corps

Larimer County Conservation Corps

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps - Taos, New Mexico

Maine Conservation Corps
Descending a newly completed stone staircase on Mt. Blue. — at Mt. Blue State Park.

Mile High Youth Corps

Civic Works
Civic Works' Energy Ready team is hard at work at Clifton Mansion, insulating drafty walls and making Baltimore's home of service more energy efficient! For more information about our Energy Ready program, visit http://www.civicworks.com/programs/green/energy/


Former Utah Conservation Corps AmeriCorps Member Honored as White House Champion of Change for Her Promotion of Solar Power


Today - Thursday, April 24, 2014 - the White House recognized Kate Bowman, a former 

Utah Conservation Corps AmeriCorps member, as a "Champion of Change." Bowman was one of 10 people honoroed for their efforts to promote and expand solar deployment in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Bowman served two AmeriCorps positions with the Utah Conservation Corps as an individual placement at Utah Clean Energy. She served a 900 hour position in 2012 and a 1700 hour position 2013. Bowman completed outreach projects for the Community Solar Project. Her efforts expanded the program in Park City/Summit County to empower local communities to band together and negotiate bulk-pricing on solar rooftop installations.  

Congratulations, Kate! 

Read more about Kate:

Read about other Corpsmembers/former Corpsmembers who were recently honored as White House Champions of Change

Secretary Sally Jewell Visits Northwest Youth Corps as Part of National Park Week

Last weekend, in recognition of National Park Week, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell visited Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. She also met with Corpsmembers and staff from Northwest Youth Corps. Read about it here.

Written by Amelia Templeton
OPB - Oregon Public Broadcast

Secretary of Interior Jewell Sees Signs of Drought at Crater Lake

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell visited Crater Lake National Park this weekend, celebrating National Park Week.

Jewell went snowshoeing at the crater rim with students from the Network Charter School in Eugene. Jewell said she was impressed at how passionate the Eugene students were about conservation.

"They were terrific. I mean really poetic. Not just talking about National Parks, but talking about our lands, and how we use our lands and need to be more thoughtful about things we extract as opposed to conservation," she said.

Jewell also met with a Northwest Youth Corps work crew. She said she was struck by the signs of climate change and drought she saw in the park. Read more

Earth Day 2014

EarthCorps Corpsmembers “spread some Earth Month love” with students.

A Roundup of Earth Day News

Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, writes about green service opportunities in an op-ed for the Huffington Post. In the very first paragraph she mentions none other than Mike Bremer, a 2012 Corpsmember of the Year.

Like many transitioning service members, Mike Bremer was having a tough time finding work after he came home. Then he joined AmeriCorps, serving on the all veterans fire team with the Southwest Conservation Corps. With the skills he learned, Mike was able to secure a job with the U.S. Forest Service as a full-time firefighter. Read more

Watch an Earth Day video chat with Mike Connor, recently confirmed Deputy Secretary of the Interior (P.S. tune in at 2:35 to hear a question submitted by Harry Bruell, CEO and President of Conservation Legacy, and jump to 28:35 to hear a question from Levi Novey, Director of Communications and Marketing at The Corps Network).


A few highlights of Corps Earth Day projects...

The entire month of April is Earth Month for EarthCorps. In total, they will host 22 events and mobilize more than 1,800 community volunteers in habitat restoration in community parks and green spaces.  Events will take place in the cities of Seattle, Everett, Mercer Island, Federal Way, and Tacoma. Activities mostly include invasive species removal. 


Kupu – Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps
On April 19th, volunteers with Kupu removed marine debris from Oahu's dirtiest beach. Kahuku Beach has more plastic than any other shoreline on Oahu.


New York Restoration Project – NYRP
New York Restoration Project planted trees in Astoria park on April 22nd.


American YouthWorks - Texas Conservation Corps

In the days leading up to Earth Day, a Corps Network-AmeriCorps crew from the Texas Conservation Corps teamed up with a neighborhood group and Boy Scout troop to install a new trail through a native prairie landscape in a historic central city park and museum in Austin, Texas.  The new 300 foot accessible trail at the Ney Museum was built by the Corpsmembers using native materials, including a natural plant-based stabilizer that created a more accessible and erosion resistant trail.  The trail will be quickly put to use to interpret the natural history of Central Texas to the thousands of school children and other visitors who tour the historic site each year.


Western Colorado Conservation Corps – WCCC

On April 11th, Western Colorado Conservation Corps generated 87 volunteer hours doing rockwork on the Tabeguache Trails System. Putting in place large rocks to deter mountain bikers, the volunteers created a connector trail specifically for hikers. This is one of the first trails of its kind in the area. In total, the crew constructed 200 feet of new trail, 2 retaining walls, 2 staircases and 1 armored section of trail.

“It’s awesome that we were able to move two ton rocks and disguise it like nothing happened,” said Chi Yun Takaki, an Assistant Crew Leader.


Youth Conservation Corps – YCC

Youth Conservation Corps spent the day "greening" their location in Waukegan, IL.  They built raised beds, filled them with soil and compost, and then planted them with flowers and vegetables. They also planted native prairie grasses around the building, along with bushes and other plants. 


Arizona Conservation Corps is Born: Coconino Rural Environment Corps and Southwest Conservation Corps Sonoran Desert Office become Arizona Conservation Corps

Southwest Conservation Corps Sonoran Desert Office (SCC) and the Coconino Rural Environment Corps (CREC) have recently joined forces as Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC). 

Additionally, Southwest Conservation Corps has created Conservation Legacy - a new parent organization that will continue to operate the SCC program out of Colorado, the AZCC program, Environmental Stewards, a VISTA Team and Southeast Youth Corps. 


"We are confident and already seeing signs of our organization being much stronger as one in Arizona," said Rob Spath, AZCC Executive Director. "We will continue to operate two offices (Tucson and Flagstaff) with many satellite programs in the White Mountains, the Greater Phoenix area, Cottonwood and Safford.  We will also continue to support programming in Southern New Mexico and Southern Utah.  And most importantly, we will be offering up the same, if not better, programs and services."