President Obama Releases Proclamation in Celebration of Great Outdoors Month and the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

President Obama Proclaims June 2016 “Great Outdoors Month”
 

WASHINGTON, DC – The Corps Network supports President Barack Obama's issuance of a presidential proclamation officially marking June 2016 as Great Outdoors Month.

The 21CSC Act

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The Corps Network Applauds Introduction of 21CSC Act (H.R.5114) in the United States House of Representatives

Legislation will help advance the 21CSC’s goal of engaging 100,000 youth and veterans in protecting, restoring and enhancing America’s public lands and waters.

 

The Corps Network Thanks REI Foundation for $1 million investment in 21st Century Conservation Service Corps


Montana Conservation Corps
 

In celebration of National Park Service Centennial, funding will support projects at 19 national parks. Investment matches largest ever donation to 21CSC.

Announcement of Grants Caps Big Week for 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

This week was a notable one in the continuing cultivation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative (21CSC). On Monday, The Partnership for the 21CSC hosted it's 4th meeting at the Department of Agriculture's Washington D.C. Headquarters.

On Wednesday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell with Coca Cola North America President Sandy Douglas announced new 21CSC grants at an event on the Los Angeles River with several Corps in attendance. Keep reading below for more detail on what it means.

4th Partnership for 21CSC Meeting Focuses on Collaboration, Funding, and Celebrating Successes
Representatives from numerous federal agencies, partnering organizations, and 21CSC program operators met in Washington to discuss how to continue making the 21CSC a successful initiative. Most discussions were held in small groups, and focused on key themes including
  • how to find solutions to challenges and barriers that exist in inter-agency collaboration and internal communications
  • how to collect data that is consistent and meaningful across agencies and partners, as well as implement standards across 21CSC program operators to ensure high-quality programs and projects
  • how to identify and put sources of long-term federal funding in place for the 21CSC
  • challenges and opportunities for securing private funding to support the initiative, and how to negotiate meaningful public-private partnerships that are beneficial to all parties
  • federal legislation that would ensure 21CSC has staying power across political administrations
A public afternoon presentation celebrated the successes of the 21CSC to date, and featured speakers from numerous agencies and partners. The next Partnership for 21CSC meeting will be held during The Corps Network's 2015 National Conference, which will take place from February 8-11 in Washington, D.C.  
New 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Grants Support 23 Projects in Collaboration with Six Department of Interior Agencies
On Wednesday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced new Department of Interior 21CSC grants that were made possible by combining $530,823 private funds with matching funds to create project funds totaling $740,000. According to the Department of Interior, "The projects will employ approximately 160 youth and up to 10 veterans in conservation work benefiting our public lands. These projects will engage approximately 300 volunteers within the local communities and conduct restoration activities on over 200 miles of public land."

The agencies that will partner with 21CSC organizations include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.

Of the 23 projects, 19 are going to be completed by members or affiliates of The Corps Network. Many of the projects focus on traditional Corps work such as improving trails, restoring habitat, and environmental education. Some unique project highlights include

  • Conservation Legacy employing two AmeriCorps Environmental Steward program members in South Florida's Everglades ecosystems to work with U.S. Geological Survey biologists to help research and control expanding populations of invasive reptile species.
     
  • Nevada Conservation Corps working with the Bureau of Land Management with six AmeriCorps members to clean-up and reduce the impacts of a recreational shooting range within the Coyote Springs Area of Critical Environmental Concern.
     
  • Utah Conservation Corps employing four Corpsmembers to work with the Bureau of Land Management to build a short trail around the Mill Canyon dinosaur track site to enable more visitors to see the dinosaur tracks while maintaining the site in good condition.
     
  • Arizona and Utah Conservation Corps employing two four-person crews to construct and install several micro-irrigation systems in the northern Navajo Nation that can help encourage gardening, an activity that has obtained renewed interest recently among local communities.

For more information on the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps initiative, please visit www.21csc.org

Tom Campion, Zumiez Founder, Donates $100,000 to 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

Article appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

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SEATTLE, June 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As conservation and outdoor recreation groups descend on Washington, DC for Great Outdoors America Week, local businessman and founder of the Zumiez retail chain (Nasdaq:ZUMZ), Tom Campion made a $100,000 donation to the new 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC). Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, former CEO of Washington's own REI Co-op, launched the public-private initiative in January. The donation was made through the nonprofit Campion Foundation.

"My number one conservation priority is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," said Campion. "By connecting young people to the public lands they can enjoy and help steward today, we can build an appreciation -- and the necessary will -- for conserving remote, intact wild places like the Arctic Refuge and America's Arctic Ocean in the future."

The 21CSC is intended to foster a greater appreciation for the outdoors and America's public lands by engaging young people through play, education, volunteer service, job training and work. As a public private partnership, the 21CSC is working with over 100 partner organizations and eight federal departments and agencies to develop programs to meet the goals set by Secretary Jewell.

Tom and his wife Sonya Campion established the Campion Foundation in 2005 with a focus on protecting wilderness, ending homelessness and strengthening nonprofits. In 2012, the Campion Foundation sponsored the IMAX film, To The Arctic, to provide the public with a rare view into the arctic wilderness.

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As conservation and outdoor recreation groups descend on Washington, DC for Great Outdoors America Week, local businessman and founder of the Zumiez retail chain (Nasdaq:ZUMZ), Tom Campion made a $100,000 donation to the new 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC). Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, former CEO of Washington's own REI Co-op, launched the public-private initiative in January. The donation was made through the nonprofit Campion Foundation.

The Wilderness Society and the Partnership for 21st Century Conservation Corps Launch "Fifty for the 50th Campaign"

Washington, DC (June 24, 2014) – The Corps Network joined The Wilderness Society today to launch the Fifty for the 50th Campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. This campaign will, through the Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC), employ youth and veterans across the country in 50 conservation projects in 50 wild places. Project locations include places such as Gates of the Mountains Wilderness in Montana, Candlestick Point State Park in San Francisco, and Bladensburg Waterfront Park, just outside of Washington, DC.

The launch event featured a series of prominent speakers, as well as personal testimonies from various corpsmembers. Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society, kicked-off the event, calling the campaign a “chance to give back to wild places.” Other speakers included Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Liz Close, Intermountain Region Director of Recreation, Heritage & Wilderness with the US Forest Service, Mary Ellen Sprenkel, Present & CEO of The Corps Network and Co-Chair of the Partnership for 21CSC, Jono McKinney, President & CEO of Montana Conservation Corps, and corpsmembers Michael Richter (MCC), Anthony “Chako” Ciacco (SWCC), Agnes Vianzon (CCC), and Priscilla Flores (CCC).

The Corps Network’s Mary Ellen spoke about the creation of the 21CSC and its “special effort to engage the next generation to care for these wild places.” The Corps Network’s membership currently includes around 100 programs that engage approximately 25,000 individuals a year. With 21CSC and campaigns such as the Fifty for the 50th Campaign, the goal is to increase that number to 100,000 people serving on public lands annually. Although ambitious, partnership is key and as Robert Bonnie of USDA mentioned, “the challenge is in the next 50 years where we must build the next generation of stewards and leaders.”

The Fifty for the 50th Campaign is the perfect way to promote the goals of 21CSC; when completed, the 50 projects will have improved or restored more than 40,000 acres, built 887 miles of trails, planted 325 acres of trees, and corpsmembers will have spent nearly 200,000 service hours on public lands.

The Fifty for 50th event was part of Great Outdoors America Week (GO Week), an annual event in Washington, DC that draws hundreds of people to celebrate, advocate, preserve, and enjoy the great outdoors! A list of events going on this week can be found here.

While celebrating the outdoors, be sure to take part in the Wilderness Society’s We Are The Wild campaign. This campaign is designed to promote and share a collective wilderness experience and inspire preservation. While at GO Week take a photo or video and post it to your social network with the hashtag #WeAreTheWild. The Wilderness Society will launch a digital hub in July at www.wilderness.org/wearethewild to share all the posts. Together we can build the next 50 years of wilderness!

Blog Slideshow: 

Partnership for 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Announces "100 Projects to Restore America"

16 Members and Affiliates of The Corps Network Awarded 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Project Grants

Southwest Conservation Corps works on improving a trail. Among several projects, they were awarded a grant to partner with the Bureau of Reclamation and National Park Service to make improvements to the Historic Railroad Trail at Hoover Dam.

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2014

Earth Conservation Corps featured in NPR piece about Sally Jewell's 21CSC efforts


On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that American Eagle Outfitters has committed $1 million towards the goal of raising 20 million private sector dollars for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. Corpsmembers from programs  such as Earth Conservation Corps and Montgomery County Conservation Corps attended the announcement at the FDR memorial in Washington, DC.

 

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