Kupu volunteers plant 20,000 trees for Arbor Day


Photo courtesy Kirsten Gallaher/DLNR


Kupu Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps' Arbor Day project received significant press coverage. In the weeks leading up to Arbor Day, volunteers planted 20,000 native trees in an effort to restore a deforested Natural Area Reserve. 


BRINGING BACK THE KIWIKIU: VOLUNTEERS PLANT 20,000 TREES TO RESTORE HALEAKALA’S DRY FORESTS THIS ARBOR DAY

Press release (4/24/2015) - hawaii.gov - Department of Land and Natural Resources
By Deborah Ward

KAHULUI — “E ola ‛oe. E ola mâkou nei,” Malia Heimuli whispers as she removes a koa seedling from its container and buries its roots in the soft, dark earth. “It means you live, so we live.”

It’s fitting that in the weeks preceding Arbor Day – Friday April 24, groups of Kupu Hawai‛i Youth Conservation Corps volunteers have traveled to the Division of Forestry and Wildlife -run Nakula Natural Area Reserve (NAR) high on the leeward slopes of Haleakalâ. The aim of this partnership: planting 20,000 native trees to help bring life and water back to barren slopes damaged by non-native hooved animals. The catch: planting at a rate of around 2,800 trees a day to make use of $300,000 in federal grant money before the end of 2016. But the enthusiastic team of volunteers is up for the challenge.

Established in 2011, the Nakula NAR is an extraordinary landscape with a dramatic elevational change of 5,600 vertical feet in 2.5 miles. The mostly koa-dominated dryland forests are habitat for 9 species of endangered Hawaiian plants and 4 species of birds, including the Kiwikiu or Maui Parrotbill. With populations numbering only 500, it is now one of the rarest birds in the world. While no longer found here, the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project plans to start reintroducing Kiwikiu in 5 years’ time as an insurance policy to prevent extinction of the species.



Photo courtesy Kirsten Gallaher/DLNR
 

This ambitious plan relies on the revival of the forests. Along with those on the Big Island, the koa forests of leeward Haleakala were once the major source of logs for wa‛a (canoes) that supplied ancient Hawaiian voyagers. Where there was once a vast forest, a scarred landscape of invasive grass and red earth remains. In some places, entire chunks of the mountainside have been washed out onto the coral reefs below.

Gina Carroll, of Kupu Hawai‛i, points out the few remaining trees in the valleys, “When you see how large the koa trees are, you can imagine what it must have been like across the whole landscape. You cannot help but think what the trees would say if they could talk.”

According to Peter Landon, manager of the NAR System on Maui, “Pressure from ungulates is what really destroyed it all; the trees just couldn’t handle being trampled and eaten, and now the environment may be too dry for any of the seeds to establish. Back when it was a closed canopy forest, there used to be freshwater springs and streams that ran all the way to the ocean.” About Nakula he says, “This is really it. We are attempting to restore a forest in a small reserve of 1,400 acres, we’ve got Kanaio NAR (less than 900 acres) and that’s all we’re protecting from a dryland forest that used to span from Makawao to Kaupo; it’s kind of sad.”

Goats and cattle are still a dire threat to the remaining 5% of dryland forests on Maui. A helicopter flyover of a single ravine outside the boundary fence reveals hundreds of goats. The animals are present in such numbers that they overflow from rocky hiding places out onto the slopes. Fences hold back the onslaught from forests which are gradually being brought back to life by a dedicated team of a handful of Division of Forestry and Wildlife staff and dozens of volunteers. Without them the unique forests and birds, the very first inhabitants of Maui, will not return.



Photo courtesy Kirsten Gallaher/DLNR

Each morning starts with a steep climb from base camp up the slopes, where thousands of koa, ‛ô‛hia lehua, mamane and a‛ali‛i seedlings have been dropped by helicopter. The sun shines hot and bright, illuminating the rolling valleys stretching below to the sea. Within minutes, the view is whitewashed by clouds rolling in. Up here this is a daily occurrence. Tiny water droplets cling to the hairs on the volunteers’ skin and eventually fall to the ground, illustrating one of the reasons why Hawai’i’s upland forests are so crucial for ensuring healthy watersheds. Trees act as traps, condensing moisture from the clouds and recharging groundwater in what would otherwise be a dry habitat. It is predicted that bringing back the trees will one day return water to the dried up streambeds.

The volunteers form an outplanting assembly line, putting trees in the ground at an incredible rate. They are all interns under the Hawai‛i Youth Conservation Corps program, which places aspiring young conservationists at various environmental partner organizations. Many of the interns are inspired to channel their passion for nature into further studies or careers.

For Nôweo Kai, 33, something she’s valued during the program is, “the immersion: being completely surrounded 40 hours a week by individuals who actually share the same interests and passions as me”. When asked why she wants to conserve these areas, she replies, “There’s a foundation of place. I love – I am in love with – these islands. And I feel like the unique things that make up these islands biologically (and of course historically and culturally), that’s something that’s in the very core of me.”

Despite the lighthearted banter during outplanting, when they talk story around the campfire, every single person seems moved by the experience. Maeghan Castillo (25) describes it as “an experience so rare, it’s almost as if we are starting another chapter in our lives”. Gus Robertson (24) feels “profoundly humbled to be involved in this type of work. To think about this place before it was degraded, all rugged and wild, and to think about our grandkids being able to visit in 100 years when it will be a vibrant forest again, gives me a great sense of accomplishment and joy.”

Christopher Zauner, 18, articulates the sentiment shared by many: “Look how few people we are and how much we’re doing. Just imagine what a whole island could do…”

Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center Courier: Vol. 2, Issue 2 - April 2015

VIDEO: Montgomery County Conservation Corps profiled in local news segment


Montgomery County Conservation Corps profiled by Montgomery County Cable for their work helping local youth further their education and gain job skills. See the original video post here

Photos of the Month: April 2015

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 2015. 

 


Civic Works - helping clean up following riots in Baltimore
 


Arizona Conservation Corps 
 


Vermont Youth Conservation Corps 



Canyon Country Youth Corps

 


Earth Conservation Corps 



Southwest Conservation Corps - Arizona Conservation Corps



Earthcorps 



LA Conservation Corps 



Southeast Conservation Corps

 


Earth Conservation Corps - Dr. Jane Goodall visits ECC for Earth Day 



Heart of Oregon Corps 



Washington Conservation Corps 



Texas Conservation Corps 



Montana Conservation Corps 



Southwest Conservation Corps



Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa
 

Reflection on Diversity: a blog post from Wyoming Conservation Corps

By Evan Townsend - Wyoming Conservation Corps
- Originally posted on the Wyoming Conservation Corps blog, April 28, 2015


 

When I first hear diversity, my first thought these days is not human, ethnic, or gender diversity but biological. This could be because much of what the WCC does is to help biological diversity seen in our work for habitat restoration, stream banks, beetle kill mitigation, wildlife fencing, and noxious weed removal.

Turns out biological diversity along with racial, linguistic, and cultural diversity need one another. They are symbiotic relationships tied to the success of one another. In a study 2012 study by L.J. Gorenflo et al., the research is there to prove that the areas labeled biological hotspots by UNESCO are the same areas with the most diversity in languages and culture. Click the map below to enlarge and see for yourself. Gorenflo et al.’s study is one of many proving this point.Linguistic_biological_diversitySo if biological diversity is ensured by cultural diversity, how could this translate to environmental organizations in the USA? Do I insulate myself from worrying about human diversity by working for an environmental organization? In a recent report headed by University of Michigan’s Dorceta Taylor, PhD titled State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations, the numbers are pretty clear that even environmental organizations dedicated to both people and the environment are dismally mono-cultured.

TRG-001_Web-Scroll_0727_10A mono-culture is never a sustainable template for biodiversity let alone business stability or social balance.

TRG-001_Web-Scroll_0727_08Not too long ago, I was tabling for the WCC at a job fair and watched a prospective worker a few tables down from us receive laughter in inquiring about an environmental biology positions for a environmental consultant firm dedicated to energy companies in Wyoming. She watched the male in front of her have an engaging 15 minute conversation with the potential employer. When it was her turn to step up after the young male, she found laughter in asking to hear about the same position. Working through the off putting laughter, she went into her rehearsed spiel about why she was interested in the position when she was interrupted after she said “I have a degree in environmental biology.” He interjected with a the snide question of “how is that workin’ out for yeah?” I wish I was making this up. While women are increasing in numbers and ratios for bigger and better jobs in the workforce, almost 77% of presidents in environmental organizations are male and 71% board members for these organizations are male too. After looking at the numbers given by the Taylor report, this conversation we are having now is not happening enough. Last night for our 4950 Leadership in Natural Resources class, our crew leaders had a fruitful discussion about race and gender both abstractly and as it relates to our positions as AmeriCorps, a conservation organization, and a youth program.

The WCC does a good job but like nearly all conservation corps, we have a long way to go. The WCC is almost 50/50 male to female but all Caucasian. We are not alone, most conservation corps function this way but this is changing. In a press release by the Corps Network highlighting a statement by Sally Jewel, former CEO of Recreation Equipment Incorporated (REI) now US secretary of the Interior, she mentions the pressing need to have our public lands be represented by the people who represent this country. In other words, the USA is a melting pot of cultures and races yet our public lands seem to boast little proof of this.

America’s conservation corps are a vital puzzle piece to incorporating more diversity in environmental organizations and the workforce in general.

Our conservation corps are beginning to be one of the agents of change in this regard. We are recruiting more men and women of various backgrounds fit for the various jobs we do as youth conservation organizations. Programs like the WCC and the many other conservation corps in the country are acknowledging the issues and working toward Sally Jewel’s dream of our public lands representing the USA of today. We have to, the sustainability of our planet and our societies depends on getting as many people as possible interested in solving issues centered around climate change, social justice, food distribution, and water scarcity. Without a connection to green spaces, both wilderness and municipal parks or even backyards, our coming generations might have less drive to make these critical decisions related to climate and food. Our world depends on it. The WCC and Wyoming in general does a great job of making outdoor landscapes accessible to our public but we need more people to be doing our work.

Thanks for listening.

Governor Jerry Brown Visits California Conservation Corps Headquarters

Story and photos provided by the California Conservation Corps 

California Governor Jerry Brown spent time away from his Capitol office in Sacramento a few weeks back to visit the California Conservation Corps' statewide headquarters. Brown had a chance to meet with staff and also field questions from several dozen corpsmembers in attendance.

Questions ranged from drought relief to the governor's vision in founding the CCC during his first term in 1976.

This was Gov. Brown's second visit to the CCC headquarters in the last few years.

Boiler Plate: 
California Governor Jerry Brown spent time away from his Capitol office in Sacramento a few weeks back to visit the California Conservation Corps' statewide headquarters. Brown had a chance to meet with staff and also field questions from several dozen corpsmembers in attendance.

Mary Ellen's Blog: Find Your Park and Protect it


A Corpsmember with the Gulf Coast Restoration Initiative on the 5th anniversary of the
Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

This blog also appeared on HuffPost Green

April is a big month for Corps and The Corps Network! For starters, April is when we celebrate both Earth Day and Arbor Day. As organizations that empower individuals to actively participate in improving the environment and their communities, Corps appreciate the attention these holidays bring to the ways we can each play a role in protecting our planet.  Many Corps use Earth Day as an opportunity to engage their communities in conservation-focused volunteer projects. This year is no exception; we look forward to seeing all the great photos of Corps leading their friends, neighbors and local schools in planting trees, cleaning up parks and beaches, and pulling invasive plants. You can follow Earth Day-related Corps activities too by following the hashtags #corpsearthday and #servetheearth on social media. 

Though “every day is Earth Day” for Conservation Corps, we understand all too well how difficult it can be for many people to find time to enjoy the outdoors, let alone feel like they can contribute to protecting our environment in a meaningful way. However, the message of Earth Day is that we can (and should) all be environmentally conscious, even if it’s just by recycling, being mindful of our water use, and turning off the lights when we leave a room. We applaud Corps for spreading this important environmental education on Earth Day and throughout the year, and for engaging people who might not traditionally be involved in the environmental conservation movement. As anyone who has participated in a Corps can tell you, service to one’s community and the environment can be a profoundly empowering experience. Corps teach us that everyone – young people and the traditionally disenfranchised in particular – have the power and the right to make a positive impact on their environment.

In addition to annual holidays, this April is important because it marks the official launch of Find Your Park; an initiative of the National Park Service and National Park Foundation to connect the next generation to America’s parks. As studies show, today’s children spend significantly less time outdoors than their parents or grandparents. They are more connected to screens than they are to nature. With its centennial coming up in 2016, the National Park Service is focused on making sure its next 100 years are even stronger than the first 100. To do this, they need to ensure that generations to come have an interest in not only visiting parks, but becoming public land and water managers. Corps are united with the Park Service in the goal to get more young people outdoors and interested in conservation. For years, Corps have completed vitally important maintenance and improvement projects in National Parks across the country, ranging from Shenandoah in Virginia, to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, to Olympic National Park in Washington. The Corps Network was proud to participate in a Find Your Park launch event last week at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

Another reason why this April in particular is important is that it marks the fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; the largest spill in America’s history. You may have seen news stories in the past few days about how the recovery process in the Gulf has been slow and there is still a great deal of restoration work to be done. Fortunately, not all of the news out of the Gulf this month is bad news; the second phase of The Corps Network’s Gulf Coast Restoration Initiative (GCRI) pilot project got underway last week in Mississippi. Corpsmembers will spend the next seven weeks restoring coastal habitats in Mississippi’s Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties. The goal of the GCRI is build the capacity of Corps throughout the Gulf, giving young people in coastal communities the opportunity to be trained for careers in the increasingly important fields of wetland and riparian habitat restoration. The Corpsmembers who participate in the current GCRI pilot project could one day be the conservation experts who help prevent future manmade disasters in the Gulf and make sure all natural disasters are responded to in a timely fashion. 

One last reason why April is an important month for the Corps world is that spring means the start of the field season. With warmer weather and the end of the school year in sight, Corps are busy starting projects or finishing their final preparations to welcome Corpsmembers for spring and summer crews. This is a time when some Corps host orientations for recently recruited Corpsmembers, exposing them to environmental stewardship and the growing diversity of “green careers” available.

April makes us think of things turning green, of new life and growth. It’s a time when we think about our impact on the environment and what we can do to ensure we make a positive impact. This April, I hope you consider getting outdoors to Find Your Park, join a volunteer project, or enjoy the beauty of the natural world just outside your front door. As the great conservationist John Muir once said, "I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."

7 Questions with Michael Muckle

This week is the inaugural article in a new series of interviews with Corps Staff members.

Michael Muckle is the Director of the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg and talks about his experience working at the Corps, advice from mentors, and what inspires him.

 


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

There's a few things here in New Jersey that we're currently working on that I'm excited about:  

a. Our upcoming HOPE project at the Gateway National Recreation Area @Sandy Hook is something that I'm really anticipating because it will give our Corpsmembers such a unique opportunity to learn preservation craft skills while rehabilitating a historic building in a really beautiful setting.  

b. The second project I'm excited about is developing a partnership with the American Conservation Experience (ACE) to put our Waders in the Water trained Corpsmembers to work here in New Jersey.  ACE has taken the lead on some riparian restoration projects in the mitigation banking arena here in the state and we look to partner with them to place our Youth Corps WitW Level 1 Corpsmembers on site with them.  

c. The third ‘project’ I'm excited about is helping the state of New Jersey develop its implementation plan for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  We believe that WIOA will enable us to implement new ideas and programmatic strategies on a local level to expand and lengthen the services to our Corpsmember participants – who are requiring more effort and more time to achieve certain goals within Youth Corps. It’s an opportunity to amend our programs with opportunity to increase the quality of service for the next decade…maybe longer. That’s exciting.  

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

Jobs usually available for our Corpsmembers are found in retail, foodservice and warehouse work given our rural location here in New Jersey. Other typical placements are entering into Community College, or directly into military service.    

Here at our program we're trying to change the mindset of Corpsmembers by offering them unique service opportunities that shadow careers within the field of public service. In doing so, we hope to reveal what’s possible to the Corpsmembers by introducing them to people in the field that have themselves blazed an unconventional career pathway. That one-on-one interaction is essential to the building of confidence and gaining of trust on behalf of the Corpsmember.  When they see that others like themselves can achieve, they buy into the idea and start to believe.        

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

I thought hard about this question. ‘Typical’ problems working in Youth Corps, as most readers might guess, are anything but typical. On any given day, we encounter myriad problems ranging from the relatively benign like punctuality and attendance to the more serious and detrimental behavioral issues -  drug addiction, sexual abuse, gang involvement, etc. The stories of our Corpsmembers are as dramatic as they are varied. We approach all these issues from a position of patience and understanding while utilizing our entire staff in addressing an individuals’ needs. We’re all about second chances. It is challenging, exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. It’s particularly satisfying when a young adult has an epiphany about his or her life and then decides on an action of assuming responsibility for their future. It’s all worth it in the end!

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

There are two things in particular I’m proud of relative to the organizational culture here at the Phillipsburg Youth Corps. First, I’m proud of the legacy of service this program has provided to this community. Our seventeen years here haven’t been easy. We’ve had ups and downs, but we’ve had a lot of help from a lot of people. I think that we've become an essential part of this community here in Phillipsburg and Warren County. We’re very proud of that.

The second would be the level of commitment and passion for the youth we serve on behalf of my staff. Their hard work and determination are so inspiring! They have a familial approach in everything they do, are wonderful mentors to the young adults they work with and are the most patient people I know. They propel me to want to do better…for them and our youth.

Something I would like to improve is to become more effective with communication; things develop and change so quickly over the course of a day sometimes, and it is difficult to be able to keep pace and inform everyone about those developments. Getting your message out to the right people is so essential to finding partners that support your program as well as identifying the youth we serve, and with so many systems to do so (i.e. Social media, websites, newsletters, etc.), your message can get muddled in the medium you choose. I’d look to improve upon that.

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

This is an interesting question, but I'm going to answer it like a politician, so I apologize beforehand. I just love the natural world. I can’t pick one type of terrain or environment over another because I feel just as comfortable down the shore as I feel up in the mountains. I have a deep fascination and appreciation of both and everything in between, which by the way, is why I love New Jersey. I’m originally from Connecticut and I had the impression that most people who travel through New Jersey are only familiar with;  the industrial I-95/Route 1/NJ Turnpike corridor.  But the best of New Jersey is just beyond all that you can see when you’re barreling down the NJ Turnpike. New Jersey has it all. Mountains, forests, farms, beaches...it’s perfect.

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

Anyone who knows me knows that this is almost impossible for me to answer efficiently or succinctly, but I’ll try. One is a song, and it’s not even a new song, but Ben Harper’s “With My Own Two Hands” from 2003 is a personal anthem of mine. One of my former students turned me on to it, and from first listen, it spoke to me. It embodies an ethos of service with an infectious reggae hook. It reminds me why I joined AmeriCorps in the first place in 1998 and cements my resolve as I continue to serve alongside our Corpsmembers. Good stuff.

The second is a book I’m just getting into by Robert Putnam called “Our Kids: the American Dream in Crisis.” It’s a study on the growing inequalities in America and how it is affecting our youth.  I’m hoping it might open my eyes to something so it can foster a constructive conversation among our youth. It is interesting so far.  

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

One thing the person who had my job before me said as they pulled me aside while walking out the door for the last time was “Seek balance, Mike. You’ve got to seek balance in all you do.” That has stayed with me ever since. It was a tough time of transition for me, both personally and professionally. I was working long hours, so I understood where the advice was coming from, but still I didn't heed it. It took a few years to fully comprehend and implement that philosophy, and I still struggle most days - but putting emphasis on the things that bring me the most satisfaction - my wife, my daughter and our family - has helped me.


 

Boiler Plate: 
This week is the inaugural article in a new series of interviews with Corps Staff members. Michael Muckle is the Director of the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg and talks about his experience working at the Corps, advice from mentors, and what inspires him.

15 Inspirational Quotes for Earth Day (or Any Day)

Earth Day is a great time to take action and reflect upon the wonders of nature. Here are some quotes to inspire you on Earth Day and beyond!


"It is an incalculable added pleasure to any one's sum of happiness if he or she grows to know, even slightly and imperfectly, how to read and enjoy the wonder-book of nature." 
Theodore Roosevelt


Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. 

Rachel Carson


"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's Party!" 

— Robin Williams


"My experience with Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and my crew taught me to be patient, to laugh at things, especially when things go completely opposite of how I thought they would go, to work hard and to treat the environment and myself in the best way. I learned about the amazing beauty and stillness of nature, and the physical work it takes to preserve such wonder. I learned the value of preservation and trail work needed to protect the environment that offers us so much. I pushed myself farther than I thought I could ever go. Through this environmental and team service work, I, like many in my crew, found myself." 

— Gracie Billingsley, a Corps Network 2015 Corpsmember of the Year


"Na wai ke kupu o ʻoe?

Meaning whose sprout are you? This is a question I hold dear to my heart, because in order for the seedling to become the tree it must sprout and break out of the ground first. And for me personally I felt like Kupu really watered, sheltered, and encouraged me out of the ground and to drink in the sunlight. Now it’s up to me to grow to be that big koa tree. And with this question you should be asking yourself, who helped you sprout and how can you pass that on to change someone else’s life by encouraging their breakthrough of the lepo or the dirt." 

— Jon Brito, a Corps Network 2014 Corpsmember of the Year


"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children."

— John James Audobon
 


"Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking."

— Wangari Maathai


"To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from."

— Terry Tempest Williams


"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets' towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you — beyond that next turning of the canyon walls."

— Edward Abbey


"I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."

— John Muir


“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.”

— Chief Seattle


I left the luxuries of life behind for a simple life. The cell phone was traded for envelopes and stamps. My motorcycle was replaced by a pair of hiking boots. I never imagined myself bathing in a creek or climbing a peak. I worked on mountain ridges during thunderstorms, near soothing creeks, at the world famous Yosemite Falls and throughout Northern California Wilderness. The work was intense and strenuous, and the days were long. I slept on the ground and under the stars. All the sights, sounds and smells will never be forgotten, because pictures and stories will never do justice to what I’ve experienced. Yet the biggest impact was that of my crew. We were an extremely diverse yet close knit crew of twelve. We worked, ate, hiked, relaxed, played, lived and grew together. I made friends for life. Despite five months of arduous labor my impact on the Wilderness is truly insignificant. Rain, snowfall or an earthquake can undo everything I’ve made, dug and cleaned this summer. But my influence on my crewmates and theirs on me will never be washed away.  

— Rosalio Cardenas, a 2007 Corpsmember of the Year


Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk. The rain makes running pools in the gutter. The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night. And I love the rain. 

— Langston Hughes


You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.

— Edward O Wilson




"Many of us ask what can I, as one person, do, but history shows us that everything good and bad starts because somebody does something or does not do something."

— Sylvia Earle


 

Boiler Plate: 
Earth Day is a great time to take action and reflect upon the wonders of nature. Here are some quotes to inspire you on Earth Day and beyond!

The Corps Network Attends National Park Service's Find Your Park Launch Event

Today, members of The Corps Network staff attended a launch event at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. for the National Park Service and National Park Foundation's new Centennial anniversary #FindYourPark campaign. The goal of the initiative is simple: to connect new generations of Americans to their national parks in the ways that they find relevant and enjoyable. So Corps certainly have a role to play, as we know that many people want to volunteer and help maintain and protect their parks. 

The Corps Network staff was able to chat with Paul Ollig, Chief of Interpretation and Education for the National Mall & Memorial Parks.

"One of the great things about national parks is the opportunity to engage with all Americans and empower them to help us protect our national treasures. In 2016, the National Park Service Centennial provides a tremendous opportunity to expand the ways in which we reach out and engage new volunteers & organizations. Service and Conservation Corps and other groups through the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative will be among those who can help us tap the talents of new & diverse generations of stewards. I look forward to working with The Corps Network and other groups to do this," said Ollig.

The official event was short, but included remarks from National Park Service George Washington Memorial Parkway Chief of Staff Aaron LaRocca, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, White House Council on Environmental Quality Managing Director Christy Goldfuss, and National Park Foundation Acting President Dan Wenk.

The highlight was most certainly the recognition of a 4th grader who had completed 40 Junior Ranger programs nationwide. He was there in support of the Obama Administration's Every Kid in a Park Initiative that connects to the Find Your Park campaign.

The National Park Service also introduced several new exhibits, including a large interactive compass that directs you digitally to parks nationwide.

Last week, the LA Conservation Corps also attended a Find Your Park event and sent us the photo below, featuring LACC Corpsmember Bryan Langston, Russell Galipeau, Superintendant of the Channel Islands National Park, Jonathan Jarvis National Parks Director, and David Szymanski Superintendant of Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area.

The Corps Network looks forward to supporting the Find Your Park initiative over the coming years!

Boiler Plate: 
Today, members of The Corps Network staff attended a launch event at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. for the National Park Service and National Park Foundation's new Centennial anniversary #FindYourPark campaign. The goal of the initiative is simple: to connect new generations of Americans to their national parks in the ways that they find relevant and enjoyable. So Corps certainly have a role to play, as we know that many people want to volunteer and help maintain and protect their parks.
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