Southwest Conservation Corps Announcing Big Changes this Earth Day

From Southwest Conservation Corps President & CEO Harry Bruell

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Partners,

In celebration of Earth Day we are excited to make an official announcement about our organizational re-structure to better align the organization with its unprecedented growth over the past 15 years.

The new name of our overall non-profit agency is now Conservation Legacy, a national organization that supports local and regional conservation service programs from seven offices across America.  Southwest Conservation Corps remains the name for the Conservation Legacy program that operates conservation corps in Colorado and New Mexico from offices in Durango and Salida, CO and Pueblo of Acoma, NM.  Other Conservation Legacy programs include the Arizona Conservation Corps (conservation corps in Arizona and Southern New Mexico; based in Flagstaff and Tucson, AZ), Environmental Stewards(individual placements in 22 states; based in Durango, CO), Southeast Youth Corps (conservation corps across the Southeast; based in Chattanooga, TN), andVISTA Teams (individual placements in the Appalachians and Colorado/New Mexico; based in Beckley, WV).  Please see the attached document for more information about the new structure.

The new structure allows Conservation Legacy to better support its programs with shared resources while allowing each program to develop its own identity and to customize programming to the needs and assets of the communities it serves.   We couldn’t imagine a more fitting day than Earth Day to announce the next phase of the organization’s development.  Our mission is to empower individuals to positively impact their lives, their communities and the environment, and we hope this next phase of our organizational development will allow us to support more young people, veterans and communities to make everyday Earth Day.

Conservation Legacy began in Durango, CO in 1998 as Southwest Youth Corps and changed its name to Southwest Conservation Corps in 2006 after merging with the Youth Corps of Southern Arizona.  In 2013 the organization engaged 709 young people, veterans and crew leaders who completed over 350,000 hours of service maintaining recreational trails and open space, protecting communities from wildfire, and preserving wildlife habitat.

The new structure will allow Conservation Legacy to support emerging corps programs and to help lead and promote national initiatives such as the growing movement to engage more young Americans in conservation service through the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC).  Conservation Legacy is a co-founder of the Public Lands Service Coalition and Conservation Legacy staff and Board members served on the 21CSC Federal Advisory Committee (Chair) and the Partnership for the 21CSC (co-Chair).       

Thank you for your support of Conservation Legacy, its programs and, most importantly, the young people, veterans and communities the organization serves.  Please refer to our new website for further information, please connect with us on our new Facebook page, and please feel free to contact me or 970-403-0143 with questions, suggestions or ideas.

Thanks for all that you do to support conservation service corps,

Harry Bruell

President & CEO