California Conservation Corps' Annual Volunteer Day Targets 14 Environmental Projects Throughout State

Press Release from California Conservation Corps Foundation

For Immediate Release                              
October 9, 2014                                             

Contacts:

Paul Carrillo, Exec. Dir., CCCF                                                                       
(916) 475-4572 (
info@cccfoundation.net)

Martha Diepenbrock, CCC Dir. Ext. Affairs
(510) 520-0108 (Martha.diepenbrock@ccc.ca.gov)

Hundreds of volunteers from the California Conservation Corps, nonprofit groups and California businesses are joining forces on Saturday, October 18, to work on environmental projects from Humboldt County to San Diego that promise to have high impact on local communities.

Many of the corpsmember volunteers were on CCC teams that devoted nearly 280,000 hours to firefighting and logistical support for Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service as they battled more than 50 different fires throughout the state since July 1.  Crews from every CCC center, along with most of the satellite locations, participated in firefighting efforts. 

A project of the CCC Foundation, the Corps’ third annual Volunteer Day also is designed to raise awareness and visibility of conservation efforts throughout the state. Media/photo opportunities are available at each location. 

Projects, chosen by participating CCC centers, include:

Humboldt County – Fortuna Center corpsmembers will partner with Friends of the Dune in dune restoration, native planting and trail maintenance at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, 220 Stamps Lane, Manila.  8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact: Larry Notheis, Center Director, 707 725 5106 .     

Shasta County  – Redding Center Volunteers will spruce up cut grass, remove fencing, level gravel caps and pour concrete curbing at the Parkville Pioneer Cemetery, 6121 Parkville Road,  in Anderson. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact: Scott Wolsey, 530 241 3030.  Paul Carrillo (day of event) 916 475 4572.  NOTE:  This event has been postponed until November (date to be announced), because many Redding Center corpsmembers are engaged in firefighting and logistical support.

Mendocino County – Ukiah Center corpsmembers will be redefining trails and providing general cleanup at the Redwood Valley Education Center, Pinecrest Drive, Redwood Valley, in Ukiah.  9 a.m.-1 p.m. Contact: Jimmy Galvan/Cathy Barr 707 463 2822. Tom Riley (day of event), 916 266 1565.

Sacramento County – Greenwood Center corpsmembers provide habitat for pollinators and songbirds and help with ground preparation for the pollinator garden site at Leataata Elementary School, 401 McClatchy Way, in Sacramento.  9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Contact: Marie Mijares 530 823 4075.  Steve Swatt (day of event), 916 849 8000.

El Dorado County – Greenwood Center corpsmembers will construct schoolyard habitat, clear and level ground, build trail causeways, plant trees and shrubs and install drip irrigation system at Sutter Mill Elementary School, 4801Luneman Road, Placerville.  9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Contact: Brian Lussier 530 823 4075.

El Dorado County – Greenwood Center corpsmembers will clear trail corridors, prepare area for community farm and native plant nursery site, clean up historic structures, gardens and orchards at the Wakamatsu Colony Farm, 941 Cold Spring Rd., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact:  Brian Lussier 530 823 4075

El Dorado County – Tahoe Center corpsmembers will be rebuilding the obstacle course at Bijou Park, 1099 Al Tahoe Blvd., in South Lake Tahoe.  9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Contact: John Martinez 530 0850.

Santa Cruz County – Corpsmembers from the Monterey Bay Center will be pulling poison hemlock and other invasive weeds, mulching and planting at the Wetlands Restoration Project in Watsonville (Meet at 1810 Main Street).  9 a.m.-3 p.m. Contact: Brenda Burks-Herrmann 831 768 0150 x202. Kevin O’Rourke (day of event) 707 249 5356

San Luis Obispo County – Los Padres Center corpsmembers will be providing trail construction, brush clearing, fence mending and trash removal at the Pismo Preserve Trail.  Highway 101 and Price Canyon.  10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Contact: Mark Rathswohl/Mike Anderson 805 549 3561.

Ventura County – Camarillo Center corpsmembers install a community  garden at the Food  Share Community Garden, 4156 Southbank Road, in Oxnard.  9 a.m.-1 p.m. Contact: Chris Rochte/Paul Campa 805 290 5702.  Cindy Laubacher (day of event) 916 425 6101

Los Angeles County – Corpsmembers from Los Angeles/Norwalk will paint a mural and plant trees at Hollydale Park, 5400 Monroe Ave., South Gate.  9 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact: Chris Rochte (Martin Hernandez/Christian Herrera) 323 509 2254.  Laurie Traktman (day of event) 213 399 7152

Los Angeles County – Corpsmembers from the Pomona Center will renovate numerous animal exhibits and remove non-native plants at the Santa Ana Zoo, 1801 East Chestnut Ave., in Santa Ana.  8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.  Contact: Duane Wilson/Lisa Taylor 909 594 4206.

San Bernardino County – Corpsmembers in the Inland Empire will plant native species, perform trail brushing and maintenance, remove invasive species and litter at Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, 400 Central Ave., in Riverside.  The event will focus on educating youth on the importance of volunteering to improve their community and environment.  8 a.m.-12 p.m.  Contact: Scot Schmier/Pam Knott 909 647 6551.

San Diego County --  Corpsmembers from the San Diego Center will update planting boxes, build support structures to benefit the Multi-generational Community Garden (at senior and day care center), Cuyamaca College at Rancho San Diego near El Cajon.  9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Contact: Victor Avila/Phil Lemke 619 1749.  Dan Savage (day of event) 916 747 1510

The California Conservation Corps was created in 1976.  Since then, 120,000 corps members have provided more than 67 million hours of conservation work – planting more than 21 million trees, improving stream and fish habitats, building and maintaining more than 11,000 miles of trails, and improving California park and recreation areas.  Corpsmembers have also spent more than nine million hours assisting with fires, floods, oil spills, earthquakes and pest infestations.

This year marks the 81st anniversary of the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps, President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal program that put young men to work in the outdoors.  Today's California program was modeled after the 1930s agency.

The California Conservation Corps Foundation is a nonprofit public benefit organization that supports the programs and crewmembers of the California Conservation Corps. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation can be made at www.cccfoundation.net or https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1440473

Boiler Plate: 
Hundreds of volunteers from the California Conservation Corps, nonprofit groups and California businesses are joining forces on Saturday, October 18, to work on environmental projects from Humboldt County to San Diego that promise to have high impact on local communities.

California Governor Jerry Brown Filmed for California Conservation Corps Video

Photo by Christian Schneider.

Story provided by the California Conservation Corps

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. was filmed this week talking about the California Conservation Corps' Energy Corps, which has done hundreds of energy audits for California schools. The work is funded through the state's Proposition 39 initiative. The Governor's remarks, which also included reflections about today's CCC along with the program he created in 1976, will be included in videos for the Corps. Sacramento corpsmember Nick Mathews, shown with the Governor, is a member of one of the CCC energy crews.

A recent video made by the California Conservation Corps depicted "A day in the life of a Corpsmember" and featured footage and audio of Governor Brown talking about the value of the Corps. 

Boiler Plate: 
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. was filmed this week talking about the California Conservation Corps' Energy Corps, which has done hundreds of energy audits for California schools.

California Conservation Corps Meets U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

Secretary Foxx greets CCC corpsmember Matthew Davidson as Anh Loc Harris looks on.

Story provided by the California Conservation Corps

Corpsmembers, former corpsmembers, and California Conservation Corps staff were invited by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to attend a meeting with U.S. Transporation Secretary Anthony Foxx last week in San Francisco.

The focus was project work the CCC provides to Caltrans and specifically the career path the two agencies have developed through the Caltrans Trainee program. A number of corpsmembers have been hired by Caltrans after participating in the Trainee program.  Also discussed was how the CCC makes use of both federal and state transportation funding.

Secretary Foxx listens as CCC Director David Muraki talks about the partnerships with state and federal transportatIon agencies.

Boiler Plate: 
Corpsmembers, former corpsmembers, and California Conservation Corps staff were invited by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to attend a meeting with U.S. Transporation Secretary Anthony Foxx last week in San Francisco.

In the Eyes of a Corpsmember: The People's Climate March

Written by Neysa Guzman of Montgomery County Conservation Corps

The People’s Climate March took place on September 21, 2014 in New York City and it was one of the larger protests the USA has ever seen with over 300,000 people. It was an incredible experience.

There were so many different types of people involved: people that survived floods, farmers, students, musicians, environmentalists, young children and older people.  All these people were united to stand together, strong, ready and powerful. We were all full of love that was displayed in people’s different forms of art, signs, music and dance. We celebrated the hope that we can change things. We wanted to get people’s attention to the fact that we are hurting the earth so bad that it may not be fixable if we do not stop. We chanted against oil companies and other big industries that refuse to change the way they operate.

I feel like every person should care, especially young people because this is our future, our earth that we will inherit and lead.  I am glad that we could be there to represent the Montgomery County Conservation Corps. Being a part of the MCCC I’ve gotten to learn to love and really value the incredible earth that we have. Our program teaches us about the environment and the best ways to improve it. It also teaches us to fight for what you believe in and keep going until you succeed. The protest opened my eyes to another fight and because of it I will continue to fight for environmental justice. 

Boiler Plate: 
"I feel like every person should care, especially young people because this is our future, our earth that we will inherit and lead. I am glad that we could be there to represent the Montgomery County Conservation Corps."

Announcement of Grants Caps Big Week for 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

This week was a notable one in the continuing cultivation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative (21CSC). On Monday, The Partnership for the 21CSC hosted it's 4th meeting at the Department of Agriculture's Washington D.C. Headquarters.

On Wednesday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell with Coca Cola North America President Sandy Douglas announced new 21CSC grants at an event on the Los Angeles River with several Corps in attendance. Keep reading below for more detail on what it means.

4th Partnership for 21CSC Meeting Focuses on Collaboration, Funding, and Celebrating Successes
Representatives from numerous federal agencies, partnering organizations, and 21CSC program operators met in Washington to discuss how to continue making the 21CSC a successful initiative. Most discussions were held in small groups, and focused on key themes including
  • how to find solutions to challenges and barriers that exist in inter-agency collaboration and internal communications
  • how to collect data that is consistent and meaningful across agencies and partners, as well as implement standards across 21CSC program operators to ensure high-quality programs and projects
  • how to identify and put sources of long-term federal funding in place for the 21CSC
  • challenges and opportunities for securing private funding to support the initiative, and how to negotiate meaningful public-private partnerships that are beneficial to all parties
  • federal legislation that would ensure 21CSC has staying power across political administrations
A public afternoon presentation celebrated the successes of the 21CSC to date, and featured speakers from numerous agencies and partners. The next Partnership for 21CSC meeting will be held during The Corps Network's 2015 National Conference, which will take place from February 8-11 in Washington, D.C.  
New 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Grants Support 23 Projects in Collaboration with Six Department of Interior Agencies
On Wednesday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced new Department of Interior 21CSC grants that were made possible by combining $530,823 private funds with matching funds to create project funds totaling $740,000. According to the Department of Interior, "The projects will employ approximately 160 youth and up to 10 veterans in conservation work benefiting our public lands. These projects will engage approximately 300 volunteers within the local communities and conduct restoration activities on over 200 miles of public land."

The agencies that will partner with 21CSC organizations include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.

Of the 23 projects, 19 are going to be completed by members or affiliates of The Corps Network. Many of the projects focus on traditional Corps work such as improving trails, restoring habitat, and environmental education. Some unique project highlights include

  • Conservation Legacy employing two AmeriCorps Environmental Steward program members in South Florida's Everglades ecosystems to work with U.S. Geological Survey biologists to help research and control expanding populations of invasive reptile species.
     
  • Nevada Conservation Corps working with the Bureau of Land Management with six AmeriCorps members to clean-up and reduce the impacts of a recreational shooting range within the Coyote Springs Area of Critical Environmental Concern.
     
  • Utah Conservation Corps employing four Corpsmembers to work with the Bureau of Land Management to build a short trail around the Mill Canyon dinosaur track site to enable more visitors to see the dinosaur tracks while maintaining the site in good condition.
     
  • Arizona and Utah Conservation Corps employing two four-person crews to construct and install several micro-irrigation systems in the northern Navajo Nation that can help encourage gardening, an activity that has obtained renewed interest recently among local communities.

For more information on the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps initiative, please visit www.21csc.org

David Muraki Honored as One of 20 AmeriCorps Trailblazers

Story submitted by the California Conservation Corps

California Conservation Corps Director David Muraki was honored as one of 20 AmeriCorps Service Trailblazers during a 20th anniversary AmeriCorps event in San Francisco last week.

David served as deputy director for CaliforniaVolunteers from 1996 to 2007, leading public policy efforts and supporting AmeriCorps national service and disaster volunteer programs.  He was also architect of a statewide system matching volunteers with organizations that need them. 

In 2007, David was appointed director of the California Conservation Corps.

Among those also honored as Trailblazers at the San Francisco ceremony were former first lady Maria Shriver and Sacramento Congresswoman Doris Matsui.

Boiler Plate: 
California Conservation Corps Director David Muraki was honored as one of 20 AmeriCorps Service Trailblazers during a 20th anniversary AmeriCorps event in San Francisco last week.

AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary: How Service and Conservation Corps Celebrated

Last week, AmeriCorps celebrated it's 20th anniversary. Nationwide, champions, alumni, and current members joined forces to recognize the accomplishments of our national service program. There was even a little gathering at the White House.

Here are some of the ways that members of The Corps Network celebrated:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Industry Support Grows for Restoration Private-Public Partnership

Corps Network Vice President Marie Walker (C) and NJYC Phillipsburg members participate in a Waders in the Water class. To view video, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnW0CWV1UCI
 
Washington, DC – August 28, 2014 - Aquatic restoration businesses continue to express excitement as Youth Corps nationwide are receiving training and certification for climate-ready aquatic restoration. Graduates of the Waders in the Water training program, created by The Corps Network and Trout Headwaters Inc., will be skilled in aquatic safety, knowledgeable about installation techniques, and ready to provide business and government reliable restoration on streams, rivers and wetlands across the U.S. This industry-recognized credential will build important bridges to enable youth to enter conservation careers by learning how to improve the health, productivity, and climate-resiliency of our streams, rivers, and wetlands.

Trout Headwaters President Mike Sprague said: “I’ve been impressed by the excitement from businesses and government alike who have long wished for such a trained and skilled national workforce. It’s very gratifying to see such widespread support for this important program.”

Doug Lashley, CEO of GreenVest LLC and immediate Past President of the National Mitigation Banking Association, the leading organization in the country engaged in ecological restoration and conservation banking says “this movement presents an incredible opportunity to engage the youth of America to help reverse trends and conditions that impact our waters, streams, rivers and all forms of biodiversity.” Lashley added “Educating youth at an early age on best management practices and an appreciation of the environment will equip them for future jobs in the outdoors, enhance local economies, and most importantly, encourage an appreciation of the restoration of water quality impacting all forms of life. Corporate America can help support this opportunity through Public Private Partnerships as a method of complying with their growing internal sustainability initiatives. It is an investment with no limit on the returns.”
 
Building on the great traditions of the Civilian Conservation Corps since 1933, the Waders in the Water training and certification was built to further the goals of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps which aims to have 100,000 young people and veterans working to improve public lands and waters everywhere.
 
Youth Corps believe this training will enable their members to be hired for projects previously unavailable to them. Because Waders in the Water offers professional training from a third-party industry expert, clients can be confident in the quality of the workforce they are contracting.
 
Director of the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg (NJYCP) Michael Muckle said “I see this program improving not just the quality of our environment, but the quality of the lives of the people in service”. Muckle went on to say “While implementing streamside restoration measures might seem like trying to control the chaos of the natural order of things, we hope to show the participants that by making substantive, small improvements, the ripple effect downstream – literally and figuratively - are sometimes exponential.”
 
Trout Headwaters, Inc.

Trout Headwaters Inc. is the industry leader in sustainable approaches to stream, river, and wetland renewal and repair. As one of the oldest firms in the industry, THI has pioneered approaches using natural materials and native vegetation that can reliably replace hard, invasive treatments that often damage our nation’s streams and rivers. Besides developing and refining new techniques, THI is a staunch advocate for greater sharing of information and more consistent use of assessment and monitoring tools, providing greater certainty of environmental benefits to restoration.
 
Contact:
Luke Frazza, Project Development, Trout Headwaters, Inc.
703-244-7460
luke@troutheadwaters.com
 
New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg

Founded in 1998, New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg provides municipal support to the Town of Phillipsburg, NJ while offering hundreds of youth the opportunity to earn their GED as they serve their community. NJYC Phillipsburg’s conservation projects have included urban tree planting, Delaware River clean-ups, riparian buffer restorations, and assistance with the ecological maintenance of the White Lake Natural Resource Area and other Warren County properties.

Contact:
Michael Muckle, Director, New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg
(908) 859-2969
njycphil@verizon.net

 

Boiler Plate: 
Washington, DC – August 28, 2014 - Aquatic restoration businesses continue to express excitement as Youth Corps nationwide are receiving training and certification for climate-ready aquatic restoration.

More Than 400 Corpsmembers On California Wildfires

Corpsmembers on the Bald Fire in the Lassen National Forest.

From the California Conservation Corps

The California Conservation Corps continues its fire response efforts, with 411 corpsmembers -- 31 crews -- assisting Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service throughout the state.

The largest contingent is on the Lodge Fire in Mendocino County.  In Southern California, CCC crews are providing logistical support on the Tecolote Fire in the Angeles National Forest.  Corpsmembers are also working on seven other wildfires. The crews are from 18 CCC locations throughout California and are providing both logistical support and initial attack on the firelines. 

The CCC, one of the state's premier emergency response forces, has provided more than 100,000 hours of fire response work on 45 different fires since July 1. Crews from every CCC center have been called out.

Gulf of Mexico Foundation Works with Texas Conservation Corps to Train Youth, Plant Marsh Grass

 
 
Conservation group plants marsh grass in pairs

By JOHN WAYNE FERGUSON | Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2014 11:44 pm

GALVESTON — Planting marsh grass isn’t necessarily a hard job. But it is a two-person one.

And when you have 1,000 plants to get into the ground, it’s better to to have a team with you.

This weekend, about a dozen members of the Texas Conservation Corps worked in pairs to plant marsh grass on the shores of Eckert Bayou.

One team member used a dibble to make a hole in the muddy soil of marshland and another would put the plant, spartina alterniflora, into the ground, then mash the soil back into the hole. “It’s not for everyone,” said corps crew leader Erica Keller, as her team walked through the mud and tried to ignore the pounding Texas heat. “Sometimes it’s about going outside your comfort zone.”

That hard work does pay dividends.

Alice Anne O’Donnell, whose property was the site of the planting project, said the Corps was a “godsend.” The marsh plants helped protect her house from the debris when the waters rose 7 feet during Hurricane Ike.

The marshes also provide crucial habitat for birds and other animals to live and feed in. O’Donnell said a similar project had been completed in the past, but years of natural erosion and fishermen walking through the marsh from a nearby boat ramp had destroyed part of it.

Members of the Conservation Corps, which is affiliated with the AmeriCorps program, are used to tough work. They camp out on tops of mountains and in pine woods, restoring nature trails and habitats
and performing disaster recovery and mitigation work across the state’s varied landscapes.

Many of the participants in the program are college-bound or recent college graduates, looking for a way to help pay for the cost of school. This week, however, the corps did more than just manual labor.
 
During their two-week deployment to Galveston, the conservation corps also participated in classroom sessions aimed at teaching the participants more about the technical aspects of conservation work and policies.
 
“We are a crew that usually does hands-on work,” Keller said. “We have had the opportunity this week to begin to learn about the other side as far as things like permitting and outreach. The stuff kind of besides the physical labor.”

The corps activities were organized by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, in corporation with groups like the Galveston Bay Foundation. Mikell Smith, the Gulf of Mexico Foundation’s program director, said Texas is on the verge of
beginning a large number of conservation projects, and there will be a critical need for well-trained, well-informed people to help complete them.

That’s what the foundation hopes to do by establishing a training program in Galveston.

“Any time that you’re doing any kind of work, no matter how labor intensive it may seem, it’s really important to get it right,” Smith said.

That’s why making sure that the people who would be leading conservation projects — the kind of people who might belong to the Conservation Corps — are well trained and ready to lead.
 
Boiler Plate: 
GALVESTON — Planting marsh grass isn’t necessarily a hard job. But it is a two-person one. And when you have 1,000 plants to get into the ground, it’s better to to have a team with you.

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