Utah Conservation Corps Kicks off Bike Crew

Taken From a Press Release from Utah State University

The Utah State University-based Utah Conservation Corps will launch the nation’s first pedal-powered bike crew at a kickoff event at noon on June 3, 2015 at Mamchari Kombucha (455 South 400 West, Salt Lake City). UCC AmeriCorps members serving on the bike crew will be demonstrating how they will load cargo bicycles to carry their tools and camping supplies for conservation projects. The event will feature speakers, light refreshments, and music.

The UCC secured a $20,000 grant from Utah State Park’s Recreational Trails Program for this four-person AmeriCorps crew based out of UCC’s Salt Lake City field office. The project is also being sponsored by Black Diamond, Hammer Nutrition, ProBar, Clif Bar and Keen Footwear.

The crew will use cargo bicycles to transport themselves, tools, food and camping gear to Utah State Park sites during the summer. The crew will cycle from Salt Lake City to both East Canyon State Park (33 miles away) and Deer Creek Canyon (56 miles away) for six-day work hitches before returning back to Salt Lake City. It is anticipated that the crew will complete two miles of trail construction and five miles trail maintenance.

In 2014, 165 UCC AmeriCorps members created or maintained 177 miles of trail, constructed or repaired 8.5 miles of fence, restored 14,996 acres of public land and recruited 4,214 volunteers serving 9,582 hours on projects throughout Utah.

More information on UCC can be found at http://www.usu.edu/ucc.

 

 

Southwest Conservation Corps Receives Regional Forester's Honor Award

(L-R) USFS Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Dan Jiron presents the Honor Award to Mesa Verde National Park Superintendent Cliff Spencer, SCC Executive Director Ron Hassel, MSI Executive Director Marcie Bidwell, SJNF Administrative Officer Ron Duvall, SJNF Supervisor Kara Chadwick. R2 Deputy Regional Foresters Maribeth Gustafson and Brian Ferebee also helped celebrate.

This story was originally published in the San Juan National Forest Newsletter.

DURANGO - The San Juan NF shared a USFS Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Honor Award with partners this spring for launching the Four Corners Federal Lands Internship Program. Partners included the National Park Service, Fort Lewis College (FLC), Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) and Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC).

The program offers college students experience in resource-management careers. Agency mentors oversee the professional development of interns during 10-week summer internships.

“We thank our partners for bringing this opportunity to the agencies and the students,” says Ron Duvall, San Juan NF Administrative Officer. “We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support.”

Last year’s interns are now exploring careers in natural resources through additional classes, advanced degrees and seasonal jobs. New interns have already been selected for this summer.
Boiler Plate: 
The San Juan NF shared a USFS Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Honor Award with partners this spring for launching the Four Corners Federal Lands Internship Program. Partners included the National Park Service, Fort Lewis College (FLC), Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) and Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC).

A Corpsmember's Roman Holiday

This story originally appeared in LA Conservation Corps' E-Newsletter

Brian Langston, one of our outstanding corpsmembers who currently works in our Administrative Offices as an IT assistant, recently had the trip of a lifetime. He traveled to Rome, Italy in March for two weeks to run the Rome Marathon and to take in the sights of this historic city.

How did this come about, you ask? Well, it happened by chance, really. While attending Los Angeles Trade Technical College, a surprise speaker by the name of Judge Craig Mitchell came to Brian's class to talk about his difficult beginnings. He chronicled how he overcame the challenges of homelessness and illiteracy to become a school teacher, and then Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Having a similar background, Brian was inspired by Judge Mitchell's story, and stepped outside of his comfort zone to speak up and ask the judge if they could keep in contact. To this request, Judge Mitchell invited Brian to join the Midnight Mission Running Club that he leads each week.

The rest, as they say, is history. Just by reaching out to a potential mentor for guidance, Brian went from running casually with the group on Skid Row, to running in the 2014 LA Marathon, to running in this year's Rome Marathon. Brian says that he's inspired by all of the generous supporters of his journey, and continues on because he wants to show his supporters that investing in him was worthwhile.

As for his time in Rome, Brian says "it was a dream" and that taking this trip made him realize the importance of coming back to Los Angeles to "do better in life." He also remarked that taking this trip across the pond showed him that world is much bigger than he originally thought. It opened his mind to more things that he wants to do.

Brian hopes to inspire other young people to get involved with the running group, and to help them take advantage of the same life-changing opportunities that made such a wonderful difference in his life.

We look forward to great things from Brian in the future!

To learn more about Judge Mitchell and his running club, check out these links:

Skid Row Marathon
NPR Story: From Skid Row to Rome
LA Weekly Article: Ex-Addicts Head for Rome Marathon

Boiler Plate: 
Brian Langston, a LA Conservation Corps Alum, recently had the trip of a lifetime. He traveled to Rome, Italy in March for two weeks to run the Rome Marathon and to take in the sights of this historic city. How did this come about, you ask? Well, it happened by chance, really.

California Conservation Corps Helps with Oil Spill Cleanup

Story provided by the California Conservation Corps

Members of the California Conservation Corps continue their work this work cleaning up the beaches in Santa Barbara County, site of last week's pipeline spill.

The CCC crew is working under the direction of the state Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response and has been trained in hazardous material and oil spill cleanup procedures. The corpsmembers are working 12-hour days.

The CCC's work is expected to continue for several weeks.

Boiler Plate: 
Members of the California Conservation Corps continue their work this work cleaning up the beaches in Santa Barbara County, site of last week's pipeline spill.

The Corps Cooperative Adds 3 New Corporate Partners

UPS, JiffyLube, and Shell have all recently made agreements with The Corps Cooperative that will help provide members of The Corps Network and Corpsmembers with access to discounted services. 

Formally announced in March, The Corps Cooperative, or "Corps Coop," is a Group Purchasing Organization that is available as a member benefit to all members and affiliates of The Corps Network.

Conservation United, ADP Payroll Services, and Enterprise Fleet Management are the other companies currently offering discounted services through The Corps Coop, with many other companies expected to agree to partner soon. 

Under the new agreements, the following discounted services will be offered:



UPS – United Parcel Services (UPS) has created a specific discount for each TCN member! All you have to do is join TCC to get your discount code. Discounted mailing rates range from 25-50%!

 



Jiffy Lube – Corps Coop members, as well as their staff and Corpsmembers, will be able to get a 15% discount off of ALL Jiffy Lube car maintenance services including oil changes, tire alignment and rotation, and battery maintenance and replacement.  Join TCC to get your code to start saving today!



Shell– Shell will offer a discount on fuel to Corps Coop Members who utilize a fleet of 10 or more vehicles and will additionally provide maintenance packages through Jiffy Lube with very steep discounts.

 


Members and affiliates of The Corps Network can sign-up to participate in The Corps Coop for free on the Corps Cooperative website. 

For additional information please contact Rob Spath, CEO of The Corps Coop at rob@thecorpscoop.org or by calling 520-904-2938.

Boiler Plate: 
UPS, JiffyLube, and Shell have all recently made agreements with The Corps Cooperative that will help provide members of The Corps Network and Corpsmembers with access to discounted services. Formally announced in March, The Corps Cooperative, or "Corps Coop," is a Group Purchasing Organization that is available as a member benefit to all members and affiliates of The Corps Network.

Texas Conservation Corps Sends AmeriCorps Crew to Assist with Tornado Relief

 

The AmeriCorps crew pauses for a photo prior to deployment.

From the Texas Conservation Corps

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Volunteers will help the community in response to the recent EF-3 tornado

Austin, TX, May 13, 2015 – Tomorrow at 8AM, volunteers from the Texas Conservation Corps (TxCC) at American YouthWorks (AYW) will deploy to the community of Van, Texas in response to the recent tornado. 

The EF-3 tornado hit on Sunday, May 10th and reportedly impacted an area 700 yards wide along a nine-mile swath. More than 100 buildings and 30% of the city were damaged with over 40 people injured and two deaths. In response to the recent, severe storms, Governor Abbott has declared a disaster for Bosque, Clay, Denton, Eastland, Gaines, Montague, and Van Zandt counties.

TxCC is a program of AYW which has AmeriCorps volunteers on call to respond to disasters in the state of Texas and across the United States. This service is made possible through a grant from Texas' One Star Foundation. Members will deploy May 14th and will arrive in Van, Texas that same day. The team will set up a volunteer reception center which will register volunteers and assign them to help to locals affected by the disaster.  Also, the TxCC members will support the multi-agency resource center which provides help to the agencies that have come together to serve the members of the Van community. TxCC AmeriCorps members will also serve in a direct capacity, helping to remove debris, managing donations, and otherwise assisting residents.

With TxCC's help, the volunteer reception center is scheduled to open this weekend. Those who are interested in volunteering or donating to the affected community should visit VolunteerTX.org to learn more and register.

About American YouthWorks and Texas Conservation Corps

AYW provides young people with opportunities to build careers, strengthen communities, and improve the environment through education, on-the-job training, and service to others. TxCC is an AmeriCorps service program at AYW, which, for nearly 20 years, has focused on developing leaders in conservation and emergency management and provided critical support to improve parks and preserves.

Each year the program engages over 100 diverse youth and young adults  in critical, hands-on conservation and disaster service projects, giving participants the skills and opportunities to solve real life community and environmental problems. From right here in Austin to the Alaskan bush, TxCC has served thousands of individuals in disasters and helped numerous communities recover. The program has responded to disasters such as the Central Texas Wildfires, the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, the floods in east Austin, and Hurricane Sandy.

Boiler Plate: 
Volunteers from the Texas Conservation Corps (TxCC) at American YouthWorks (AYW) are deploying to the community of Van, Texas in response to the recent tornado. The EF-3 tornado hit on Sunday, May 10th and reportedly impacted an area 700 yards wide along a nine-mile swath. More than 100 buildings and 30% of the city were damaged with over 40 people injured and two deaths. In response to the recent, severe storms, Governor Abbott has declared a disaster for Bosque, Clay, Denton, Eastland, Gaines, Montague, and Van Zandt counties.

[Photos] Youth Conservation Corps on Earth Day 2015

On Earth Day, members of Youth Conservation Corps helped prepare some raised garden beds. Photos below!

How Service and Conservation Corps Celebrated Earth Day in 2015

Corpsmembers enrolled in Service and Conservation Corps help protect the Earth and its wonders on a daily basis through their service.

Earth Day always provides a great additional opportunity to promote the benefits, goals, and fun of spending time outdoors and in nature.

Below you can discover the numerous ways that Corps programs served the Earth this year and gained attention for their work. For instance, 2 mayors of major cities spent time with Corps! One Corps also participated in a Google Hangout for Earth Day with the Clinton Global Initiative. 

Boiler Plate: 
Discover the numerous ways that Corps programs served the Earth this year and gained attention for their work. For instance, 2 mayors of major cities spent time with Corps! One Corps also participated in a Google Hangout for Earth Day with the Clinton Global Initiative.

7 Questions with Gina Carroll

This article is part of a new series of interviews with Corps Staff members.

Gina Carroll is the Director of Conservation Programming for Kupu, operators of the Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps. She talks about her experience working at the Corps, the challenges faced by Hawaii's youth, and Kupu's culture of being pono.


1. What are some of the projects that your Corps is working on right now that excite you the most?

The Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps is 1 of 4 major programs within Kupu. Currently we are working to provide Community U, a program designed for disconnected young adults, program structure and long-term funding. 21st Century Conservation Service Corps projects in the Hawaii Volcano National Park and the Haleakala National Park give Kupu the opportunity to increase our reach into the middle schools to improve awareness of the National Park System in their own neighborhood.

2. What kinds of careers are typically available in your neck of the woods for Corpsmembers?

Careers range from food service, tourism, construction, volunteer coordinators, wildlife technicians, field technicians, park directors and program coordinators. In the past 2 years, we were able to bring on 6 of our own Corpsmembers into staff positions.    

3. What are some of the most typical problems you face when working with Corpsmembers, and how do you solve them?

Many of our members have little to no family support. They often lack motivation and direction and many are without any sense of work ethic. Poor attendance, chronic tardiness, and poor communication skills are all common issues. I’m not sure we ever solve the problem, however we do try to reduce the barriers or excuses. Asking why they are chronically late will probably evoke an excuse. Asking what is going on at home that is making them chronically late will evoke an answer that is closer to the truth. We do our best to set them up for success by eliminating as much of the barriers/excuses as possible. When problems persist, there might be a ‘special’ barrier they need assistance in removing. 

4. What’s something about your organizational culture that you are proud of and something you want to improve?

Kupu culture prides itself on being pono. Pono is the Hawaiian word for righteous, upright and moral. We teach this value formally through orientations and trainings, and informally through the way we conduct ourselves day to day. Pono is the guidance we use when there is no clear rule, it’s the unspoken guide, ‘is this right?’ ‘Did we decided correctly on this?’ I hope that when it is all said and done, and the job is complete, people can say Kupu did the right thing.

One thing I’d like to improve? I’d like some time to find ways to best support our staff in their own personal development. They spend so much time and intentional energy into creating amazing programs each year that to me, change lives. Their efforts touch the lives of hundreds of members each year that ultimately create a stronger community. There are not enough ways to let them know how much they are appreciated and how much better our future will be because of them.

5. What’s your favorite kind of terrain and why (Beach, mountain, forest, lake, tundra, etc…)?

I honestly cannot say I have a favorite terrain because growing up in Hawaii, these parts of home all have a purpose in balancing my life. However, my most recent epic field experience is on the slopes of Haleakala on the island of Mau’i. Being flown in (and out) by helicopter to the 5,000 ft. elevation of this dormant volcano was breathtaking. Our team worked in this area for 5 days at a time alongside amazing trees that were 100s of years old. Planting native seedlings on a 30-40% grade, in 50 degree cloud cover with a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean is my newly experienced terrain. Why? Besides the obvious beauty of the landscape, working in the mist and gazing across the ocean toward the snow capped mountains of the neighboring island brings more than dew to your brow. The work will bring tears to your eyes and peace in your heart knowing that you have just planted your contribution to a future you will probably never see.

6. What’s something accessible to the masses (a movie, tv show, song, book, event) that has inspired or influenced you recently?

“If you’re out there” by John Legend. ... be the change we want to see. I am also inspired by the many video clips on YouTube and photos on Instagram created by our members that remind me of the importance of what we do.

7. What’s one of the best pieces of advice a mentor has given you?  

There is a plan and purpose for your life. Be intentional and don’t give up until you know you found it.


Previous Interviews in this Series

Michael Muckle of the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg

Boiler Plate: 
This article is part of a new series of interviews with Corps Staff members. Gina Carroll is the Director of Conservation Programming for Kupu, operators of the Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps. She talks about his experience working at the Corps, the challenges faced by Hawaii's youth, and Kupu's culture of being pono.

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