The Corps Network releases documentary short about connecting urban youth to the great outdoors

Discovering the Boulder-White Clouds features AmeriCorps members from Baltimore, MD visiting the mountains of central Idaho, developing a new perspective on environmental stewardship.

Contact: Levi Novey
               Director of Communications & Marketing, The Corps Network
               lnovey@corpsnetwork.org
               202.737.6272

Washington, DC – Today, The Corps Network, the national membership association of Service and Conservation Corps, released Discovering the Boulder-White Clouds: a short documentary film that communicates the power of an outdoor experience and provides a glimpse into the development of tomorrow’s conservation leaders.

The film premiered during Films about Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders; a screening and discussion at the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Four additional films about emerging conservation leaders were also screened during the event, each respectively highlighting programs of The Student Conservation Association, Children & Nature Network, Nuestro Rio, and the Southern California Mountains Foundation. Speakers during the event included Robert Bonnie, USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment; Bill Basl, Director of AmeriCorps; Congressman Raúl Grijalva, Arizona; and Carl Rountree, Assistant Director of National Landscape Conservation Systems and Community Partnerships for the U.S. Department of the Interior. 

Discovering the Boulder-White Clouds follows eight young adults from Civic Works, an AmeriCorps program based in Baltimore, MD, as they camp and hike in the wilderness of the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains, a proposed national monument.

The film focuses on the parallels between the urban environment in Baltimore and the wilderness of a place like the Boulder-White Clouds, emphasizing the value of preserving the environmental health of both settings. By exploring the pristine public lands of Idaho, the Corpsmembers, who in Baltimore grow healthy food on an urban farm and retrofit low-income homes to improve energy efficiency, gain a new perspective on the importance of conservation.

“The future of our green spaces depends on young people like the Civic Works Corpsmembers featured in Discovering the Boulder-White Clouds. America is changing; the leaders of the environmental movement have traditionally been white men with backgrounds in land management or agriculture, but our country is increasingly diverse and urban,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network. “This film gives us a look at the new face of the environmental movement. As the Corpsmembers explore a beautiful, under-protected part of America, we are reminded that the natural environment belongs to all of us, and we all must be involved in its protection.”

The Boulder-White Clouds proposed national monument covers one of the largest continuous expanses of undeveloped wilderness in the lower 48 states. It includes over 150 mountains, with some peaks reaching over 10,000 feet. Discovering the Boulder-White Clouds captures the beautiful scenery of central Idaho as the AmeriCorps members hike and explore. For many of the participants, this trip to the Boulder-White Clouds was their first time on a plane and first time away from home.

“It was terrific that Civic Works AmeriCorps members got the opportunity to see the great outdoors in Idaho,” said Dana Stein, Executive Director of Civic Works. “Our AmeriCorps members work hard to protect and enhance Baltimore’s urban environment, and they appreciated the opportunity to see how it’s important to conserve public lands out West. Their experience reinforces the value of protecting the environment throughout the country, and of the historical ties between conservation programs that help rebuild cities and preserve wilderness areas.”

“Every day, Civic Works AmeriCorps members are improving the lives of Marylanders and making a powerful impact on some of the toughest challenges facing Baltimore,” said Bill Basl, Director of AmeriCorps. “While they serve others, these AmeriCorps members also expand opportunity for themselves – gaining skills, experience, and college money to help them jumpstart their careers. An experience like the one featured in Discovering the Boulder-White Clouds helps to make stronger AmeriCorps members and more engaged students, employees, and citizens.”

Discovering the Boulder White-Clouds was filmed and edited by David Rochkind. It can be viewed online on The Corps Network’s website at http://www.corpsnetwork.org/discovering-boulder-white-clouds

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

About Civic Works

Civic Works is Baltimore’s urban service corps and an AmeriCorps program. Our mission is to strengthen Baltimore’s communities through education, skills development, and community service.  Civic Works AmeriCorps participants tutor and mentor students, create community parks and gardens, help homeowners conserve energy, grow food for low-income residents, rehabilitate abandoned houses, involve families in Baltimore City schools, make homes safer for older adults, and recruit volunteers. Civic Works also trains Baltimore residents for employment in the healthcare and green job industries. For more information, please visit www.civicworks.com.

Media Contact:

Levi Novey
Director of Communications & Marketing
The Corps Network
Phone: 202.737.6272
Email: lnovey@corpsnetwork.org