Study Finds that Service in Conservation Corps Programs has Numerous Benefits for Participants, Increases Conservation Stewardship

Public Lands Service Coalition Holds a National Summit on 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

On November 15th, The Public Lands Service Coalition (PLSC) invited a wide range of public and private sector leaders to a National Summit on the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) in Washington, DC. Participants learned more about the 21CSC Federal Advisory Committee’s recommendations and also provided their input on implementation of the 21CSC.

PLSC members – Destry Jarvis, Harry Bruell, Mary Ellen Ardouny, Parc Smith and Scott Weaver – conducted a presentation on the background and capacity of Corps as well as key recommendations of the Federal Advisory Committee and an explanation of current "industry" efforts to implement a national accreditation process.

There were several additional speakers including Mary McCabe, a graduate of the Texas Conservation Corps (American YouthWorks), spoke about her experience serving in a Corps and how it is has affected her life.

Tim Harvey, Chief of the National Park Service (NPS) Park Facility Management Division, provided a presentation of the NPS’s efforts to increase the use of Corps to complete projects for the NPS.

Michael Gale, Director of the Department of The Interior (DOI) Office of Youth, Partnerships & Service, spoke about the DOI’s efforts to respond to the Committee’s report, manage the signing of an inter-fepartmental MOU to establish the 21CSC and the National Council, and coordinate an official launch of the 21CSC.

Merlene Mazyck, US Forest Service (USFS) Program Manager of Volunteers and Service, spoke about USFS’s efforts to support the 21CSC by expanding its partnerships with youth programs, supporting HistoriCorps projects and adding a youth employment focus to the USFS Youth Alliance.

The PLSC will continue to support the launch and implementation of the 21CSC as a bold national effort to put thousands of America’s young people and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors!

Conservation Corps Boost Youth Leadership, Community Service and Outdoor Involvement, Study Shows

 

Editor's Note: this News Release was Originally Published by the Public Lands Service Coalition, of which The Corps Network is a member.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Destry Jarvis
Phone: 540.338.6970

WASHINGTON, D.C.–-Young people who participate in Conservation Corps exhibit improved leadership skills, community engagement and environmental stewardship according to a recent nationwide evaluation.

The study, conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University, assessed participants from 10 member Corps of the Public Lands Service Coalition against a random comparison group.

Using data collected during the 2011 program season, researchers found that after a season of service, Corps members displayed numerous developmental advantages. These include enhanced leadership and teamwork skills as well as a greater willingness to accept responsibility for personal actions.

Intensified engagement with the land was evinced by stronger interest in outdoor recreation. Ninety-five percent of Corps alumni indicate they plan to go backpacking within the next year, versus just 23% of the comparison group. Another 91% of Corps participants plan to purchase outdoor recreation gear within the next year, and to spend substantially more than their nonparticipant peers.

In addition, Corps participants’ interest in natural resource management careers increased during their service, while non-participants’ interest in such jobs actually declined during the same time period.

“This evaluation offers further proof that Conservation Corps provide important benefits to public lands and the public good, and we encourage our land management agencies to increase service opportunities for America’s Conservation Corps members,” said Mary Ellen Ardouny, Vice President of External Affairs for The Corps Network, formerly known as the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps.

The Public Lands Service Coalition represents 36 Conservation Corps whose 17,000 members complete crucial maintenance on America's public/tribal lands and waters.

Coalition Members

American YouthWorks • Backcountry Horsemen of America • Calif. Assn of Local Conservation Corps • California Conservation Corps • Campfire USA • Canyon Country Youth Corps • Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia • Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy, Inc • Coconino Rural Environment Corps • Colorado Youth Corps Association • Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa • EarthCorps • Greater Miami Service Corps • Groundwork USA • Los Angeles Conservation Corps • Montana Conservation Corps • National Congress of American Indians • National Parks Conservation Association • National Wildlife Federation • Nevada Conservation Corps • Northwest Youth Corps • Operation Fresh Start • Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (CO) • Sequoia Community Corps • Sierra Club • Southeast Alaska Guidance Association • Southwest Conservation Corps •Student Conservation Association • The Corps Network • The Wellness Coalition • The Wilderness Society • The Y • Utah Conservation Corps • Vermont Youth Conservation Corps •Veterans Green Jobs • Washington Conservation Corps

Advocacy

The Corps Network promotes the idea that Corps provide a solution to multiple problems in American society.