The Corps Network Partners with The National Trust for Historic Preservation to Train Next Generation of Preservation Professionals

Through “HOPE Crews” (Hands On Preservation Experience Crews), young people in Service and Conservation Corps programs nationwide will work with The Trust for Historic Preservation and other partners, including the National Park Service, to help protect and save America’s historic places.

WASHINGTON March 26, 2014The National Trust for Historic Preservation and The Corps Network have launched a new program that will train thousands of young people in useful, hands-on skills as they complete historic preservation projects throughout the country. Called the “Hands On Preservation Experience,” or “HOPE Crew,” the program will make a positive difference in the lives of future preservationists and in the communities where they serve.

The National Trust and The Corps Network plan to build the HOPE Crew network in partnership with a range of organizations, including The Corps Network’s Service and Conservation Corps members, the National Park Service, and veterans’ service organizations. Each HOPE Crew project will be a partnership, with the Trust providing preservation expertise, a partner providing crew participants, and the owner providing the historic property in need of preservation.
At each local project, preservation craftspeople will mentor and oversee the work of HOPE Crew members, providing instruction in a range of preservation bricks-and-mortar techniques. The skills these individuals acquire in HOPE Crews will make them competitive in the job market and will open opportunities for a new generation of preservation craftspeople.

“HOPE Crew stands for Hands on Preservation Experience, and that’s exactly what this innovative new program will provide to thousands of people across the country,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “While providing skills and mentorship opportunities to people across the country, HOPE Crews will also be bolstering communities and helping to breathe new life into historic places in need of revitalization. This is a win-win-win collaboration, and we are thrilled to be working with The Corps Network to launch it this year.”

“The Corps Network is thrilled to join forces with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We know that this initiative will continue to build upon the great work that some Corps have already done to help preserve America’s historic places. But there is so much more to be done and this new partnership will help us get there and train a new generation of diverse, preservation-minded Corpsmembers,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO of The Corps Network.

The First HOPE Crew Project Already Underway

The restoration work the Crews perform at historic places will ensure that key pieces of America’s past are preserved for the benefit of future generations. The first HOPE Crew project is underway at Shenandoah National Park. Members of the Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia (shown above) are working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and National Park Service staff to restore the Skyland Stable. Constructed in 1939, Skyland Stable is a contributing structure to the Skyline Drive National Historic Landmark District and is owned by the National Park Service. Delaware North Companies, the concessionaire, operates the stable to provide fee-for-service trail rides for visitors to the Park. When it is repaired, the historic structure will continue to be used as a public stable. The stable stands near a trail head, connecting visitors to the national park’s 200 miles of equestrian trails.

Upcoming HOPE Crew projects that will soon begin include a project led by a Montana Conservation Corps HOPE Crew to clean, reset, and repair headstones at Custer National Cemetery and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. A Rocky Mountain Youth Corps HOPE Crew will make repairs and provide maintenance to walkways, walls, and retaining walls at the Old Sante Fe Trail Building, a place built by the legendary Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration during America’s Great Depression.

About The National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. From our headquarters in Washington, D.C. and our 13 field offices, we take direct, on-the-ground action when historic sites are threatened. Our work helps build vibrant, sustainable communities. We facilitate public participation in the preservation of sites, buildings, and objects of national significance or interest.  We advocate with governments to save America’s heritage, and we strive to create a cultural legacy that is as diverse as the nation itself so all of us can take pride in our part of the American story. Learn more at www.preservationnation.org

About The Corps Network

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. Our 100+ members operate in all states and the District of Columbia. Each year they collectively enroll approximately 26,000 Corpsmembers from ages 16-25. Corps are comprehensive youth development programs that provide their participants with job training, academic programming, leadership skills, and additional support through a strategy of service that improves communities and the environment. Learn more at www.corpsnetwork.org

Media Contact:

Levi Novey, Director of Communications & Marketing
The Corps Network
1100 G Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.737.6272
Fax: 202.737.6277
Email: lnovey@corpsnetwork.org