TCN and Earth Conservation Corps Participate in Great Outdoors America Week event on the National Mall


On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, The Corps Network and Earth Conservation Corps participated in the Kids, Youth and the Great Outdoors Festival and Walk on the National Mall in recognition of GO Week (Great Outdoors America Week, June 24 – June 27, 2013). Earth Conservation Corps demonstrated two birds from their Raptor Education Program, while other organizations offered activities ranging from knot tying to mountain biking and kayaking lessons.

The purpose of the event, sponsored by OAK (Outdoors Alliance for Kids), was to celebrate youth in nature and raise awareness about the importance of outdoor recreation and various efforts to ensure that all kids and families have opportunities to get outside.

A press conference on the NE lawn of the Washington Monument included speeches by Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior; Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army; Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club; Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society; Jackie Ostfeld, Chair of OAK; and Arturo Cervantes, Outdoor Nation Youth Ambassador. Following the press conference, guides from GirlTrek led Festival participants on a walk to the Capitol. See below for photos from the event. 


Mountain biking lessons


Mountain biking lessons


Secretary Jewell


Daryl Wallace of Earth Conservation Corps with Skye the hawk


Secretary Jewell


Chair Nancy Sutley


Knot tying exhibit

Secretary Jewell and journalist Richard Louv discuss how to address the disconnect between youth and nature

Image from the 2013 GO Week informational brochure

As part of Great Outdoors America Week 2013, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and journalist Richard Louv discussed the future of youth in conservation at an event at the Center for American Progress. Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and several other books about the relationship between children and nature, is possibly best known for creating the term “nature-deficit disorder” to describe the idea that children are spending less time outdoors, resulting in a variety of behavioral and physical problems. 

In a question-and-answer format, Louv asked Secretary Jewell a range of questions about her views on the importance of encouraging youth outdoor recreation and about how to build a connection between young people and Americas natural spaces. Both Secretary Jewell and Louv stressed the idea that the future of our country’s conservation efforts depends on building an appreciation for nature in today’s youth. Both advocated for more unstructured outdoor play for kids. Secretary Jewell acknowledged that confronting the current lack of youth involvement in nature would require “building a bigger boat” – government can’t tackle the challenge on its own. She stressed the need for parents, teachers, schools, NGOs and businesses to all be involved in making nature more accessible for youth and adults alike. Secretary Jewell praised The Corps Network for helping create an entry-point into the green careers sector for America’s youth. She also advocated for a strong 21st Century Conservation Service Corps to simultaneously tackle the youth unemployment crisis and the backlog of maintenance work on our public lands.

Click here to see a video of the event.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to Join Northwest Youth Corps for Service Project


Sally Jewell helps out with a Northwest Youth Corps Service Project. Photo courtesy of BLMOregon

*** Update: Scroll below to see more photos from the event! ***

Today Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will join Northwest Youth Corps for an event in Portland, Oregon where she will announce funding that has been awarded for conservation projects that aim to boost youth employment. Later she and Charlie Hales, Portland's Mayor, will join the Corps to participate in a service project in one of the city's urban parks. 

In 2012, Northwest Youth Corps enrolled 950 young people in its programs, making it one of the largest Corps programs in the country. As a leader in the Corps Movement, Executive Director Jeff Parker recently served on the federal advisory committee to provide guidance on establishing a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. He also serves as a member of The Corps Network's Corps Council.

In April, the Corps was announced as one of the grantees of The Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities program. "It is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) through a $15 million, five-year relationship to promote environmental stewardship across the country." The program is a large public-private partnership, and will also fund a program called "America's Great Outdoors: Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists."

Additional members of The Corps Network who have already received funding as part of the Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities program include Southwest Conservation Corps and the Student Conservation Association. A full list of the grantees who have been announced so far can be seen here.

We congratulate Northwest Youth Corps on their participation in this event, and we know that they are going to be a fantastic ambassador for Corps!

Photos from Secretary Jewell's visit









[Video] Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell Highlights The Corps Network and Student Conservation Association for Volunteer Opportunities in Earth Day Chat

On Monday of this week, our new Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell participated in a special Earth Day webchat.

When asked a question about the Department of Interior partnering with nonprofits and corporations to boost volunteerism on public lands, here's what Secretary Jewell had to say:

Sally Jewell Confirmed by Senate as Secretary of the Interior

Yesterday the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Sally Jewell as Secretary of the Interior. With a vote tally of 87 to 11, Jewell was easily confirmed (more at The Washington Post).

As we wrote at the time of Jewell’s nomination, “Sally Jewell has been a vocal advocate of Service and Conservation Corps. In 2009, Ms. Jewell testified before the House Committee on Natural Resources in support of the Public Lands Service Corps Act. Sitting on a panel with two former Corpsmembers she said, ‘The young people represented up here and the organizations they represent…  the amount of work that they do is nothing short of amazing.’ Of the Public Lands Service Corps Act, she said, ‘We have a dearth of diversity on our public lands, our public lands are not represented by the people who represent this country, and we have parks, public lands and open spaces that are desperately in need of help, and so this bill represents a trifecta of opportunity to solve this.’”

“We congratulate incoming Secretary Jewell on her appointment, and look forward to working with her and agency staff on a range of projects relevant to youth corps, including the continuing effort to build a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, getting young people and kids outside at a greater frequency, and improving access to our nation’s renowned public lands,” said Mary Ellen Ardouny, President and CEO of The Corps Network.

Jewell is only the 2nd woman to head the Department of the Interior (although Lynn Scarlet, led the agency briefly as an “acting” Secretary). Gail Norton was the first woman to serve in this cabinet-level position from 2001 – 2006. For additional information about Sally Jewell’s background, we recommend this Washington Post profile.

Statement on Sally Jewell’s Nomination as Secretary of the Interior

For Immediate Release                                                                                            
February 6, 2013