Mary Ellen's Blog: Play, Learn, Serve and Work - What Corps Do Best


Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Miami's Mayor Tomas Pedro Regalado with Greater Miami Service Corps. Miami is one of 50 cities where The Corps Network, YMCA, National League of Cities and the Department of the Interior are partnering to get more youth outdoors.


For over a hundred years, the YMCA has provided communities with the resources and facilities to help people of all ages lead healthier, more active lifestyles. Through classes, camps, organized sports and programs offering everything from youth counseling to healthy cooking tips, the Y helps individuals and families find fun ways to exercise their bodies, minds and spirits. The Y is more than a gym; it’s a community hub.

With such a strong history of engaging people in play and activity, it only makes sense that YMCA would be involved in promoting Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell’s initiative to bridge the divide between America’s youth and the great outdoors. Since last spring, the Y and the National League of Cities (NLC) have been working in partnership to advance the Secretary’s goal to get more youth playing in parks and participating in outdoor recreation, learning in nature’s classroom, volunteering on public lands, and working to preserve and restore our natural resources. American Express committed $5 million to this project just last week.  Now, with additional support from the Department of Interior, The Corps Network will join YMCA and NLC by integrating the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) into their efforts. 

The Corps Network has been actively involved in the DOI’s youth initiative ever since Secretary Jewell announced it in the fall of 2013. Service and Conservation Corps are essential to meeting the initiative’s Service and Work goals to bring the 21CSC to scale and develop the next generation of conservation stewards and land managers by engaging 100,000 youth and veterans in projects that protect, restore and enhance America’s natural and cultural resources. Now, through this partnership with DOI, YMCA and NLC, The Corps Network will be more directly involved in meeting the youth initiative’s Play and Learn goals.

Over the next three years, member organizations of The Corps Network will place individual Corpsmembers at YMCA branches in 50 cities across the country. These Corpsmembers will assist the Y's Community Coordinators, building off YMCA and NLC relationships with community organizations and local leadership to develop opportunities for people to get outdoors and participate in environmental service projects. The goal is for each Community Coordinator to engage 10,000 to 20,000 volunteers in each of the 50 selected cities. Some of these service projects will undoubtedly be with Corps.

I am excited about this new partnership and believe it will prove to be an effective way to introduce a new audience to Corps, outdoor recreation and the importance of conservation. It will allow Corps to shine for what they do best: engaging people in service that improves communities and the environment. This initiative will result in more youth playing in parks and learning about nature through outdoor exploration; more volunteers protecting and enhancing their local natural spaces; and more people engaging with their local Corps.

The Corps Network and its member Corps have been helping people develop strong, lasting connections to nature for many years. Now, with the creation of the Community Coordinator position and a role for Corpsmembers in assisting these Coordinators, Corps will be able to expand their important role in helping people play, learn, serve and work outdoors. 

Secretary Sally Jewell Visits Northwest Youth Corps as Part of National Park Week




Last weekend, in recognition of National Park Week, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell visited Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. She also met with Corpsmembers and staff from Northwest Youth Corps. Read about it here.


Written by Amelia Templeton
OPB - Oregon Public Broadcast

Secretary of Interior Jewell Sees Signs of Drought at Crater Lake

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell visited Crater Lake National Park this weekend, celebrating National Park Week.

Jewell went snowshoeing at the crater rim with students from the Network Charter School in Eugene. Jewell said she was impressed at how passionate the Eugene students were about conservation.

"They were terrific. I mean really poetic. Not just talking about National Parks, but talking about our lands, and how we use our lands and need to be more thoughtful about things we extract as opposed to conservation," she said.

Jewell also met with a Northwest Youth Corps work crew. She said she was struck by the signs of climate change and drought she saw in the park. Read more

200 Jobs to be Created Through the "National Parks of New York Harbor Conservation and Resiliency Corps"


Secretary Jewell Announces Youth Corps to Help Restore New York, New Jersey Parks After Hurricane Sandy 

Taken from a Department of the Interior press release - May 30, 2013 (click here, or scroll down for full press release) 
 

On Thursday, May 30, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the launch of the “National Parks of New York Harbor Conservation and Resiliency Corps.” This program, created through a partnership between the City of New York and the Student Conservation Association (SCA), will create about 200 jobs for young people to participate in Hurricane Sandy clean-up and restoration efforts. The Corps will initially focus on Gateway National Recreation Area and neighboring city parklands in Jamaica Bay, Queens. Their goal is to assist in recovery and damage mitigation throughout national park sites in New York City and New Jersey. These Corpsmembers will serve as role models for President Obama’s ongoing efforts to build a 21st Century Service Conservation Corps (21 CSC), based off President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s successful Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s.

2013 will serve as a pilot year of what is expected to be a multi-year program. The Corps was created through a public-private partnership, with funding from Hurricane Sandy Restoration and Recovery funds and matching SCA funds. American Eagle Outfitters is sponsoring 25 of the 200 corps members.

“President Obama has made Hurricane Sandy response efforts a top priority for his Administration,” said Jewell. “This youth corps will not only strengthen recovery and mitigation efforts in our National Parks throughout the region, but it will also serve as a model for the power of public-private partnerships to boost youth employment and connect young people to the great outdoors.”

 


The “National Parks of New York Harbor Conservation & Resiliency Corps” expected to create 200 jobs for youth in the region

QUEENS, NY — As part of President Obama’s commitment to expand employment opportunities for youth, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today launched the “National Parks of New York Harbor Conservation and Resiliency Corps,” a partnership with the City of New York and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) that will provide approximately 200 jobs for young people in 2013 to participate in Hurricane Sandy recovery and clean-up efforts.

2013 will serve as a pilot year for what is expected to be a multi-year program for youth and young adults from around the region to assist in the response, recovery and mitigation of Hurricane Sandy damage within the national park units and their partner sites in New York City and New Jersey. The Corps will initially focus on Gateway National Recreation Area and adjoining city parklands at Jamaica Bay. Secretary Jewell’s announcement followed a Tuesday visit by President Obama to the New Jersey Shore, where he viewed rebuilding and recovery efforts underway.

“President Obama has made Hurricane Sandy response efforts a top priority for his Administration,” said Jewell. “This youth corps will not only strengthen recovery and mitigation efforts in our National Parks throughout the region, but it will also serve as a model for the power of public-private partnerships to boost youth employment and connect young people to the great outdoors.”

“America’s national parks are unrivaled inspirational assets and the passion of America’s youth is our most powerful resource,” stated Dale Penny, President & CEO of SCA, which is managing the resiliency corps. “Local students are telling us they are ready to do whatever it takes to help heal their community, and that pride and resiliency will prove stronger than any hurricane.” Youth interested in applying to the program can do so here.

The program is a public-private partnership, with funding from Hurricane Sandy Restoration and Recovery funds and matching SCA funds. American Eagle Outfitters is sponsoring 25 of the 200 corps members.

These 200 members of the new parks resiliency corps are in addition to the approximately 200 workers that New York City Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White announced on May 13 as part of the “Jamaica Bay/Rockaway Parks Restoration Corps,” which was funded by an emergency grant from the U.S. and New York departments of labor.

“We are proud to partner with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service to ensure our region’s recovery from the damages inflicted by Hurricane Sandy,” said White. “The creation of this new National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy and Resiliency Corps, combined with our Jamaica Bay/Rockaway Parks Restoration Corps, is putting hundreds of New Yorkers to work while preserving some of our city’s richest ecological open spaces.”

“In addition to cleaning up damage from the hurricane, the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservation and Resiliency Corps will be restoring habitat, rebuilding trails and other projects,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “These efforts not only help the parks recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, but also begin to mitigate the effects of future storms and sea level rise.”

In July 2012, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed an agreement between the city and the National Park Service for cooperative management of parklands. The partnership enables New York City parks and the National Park Service to work on each other’s lands, co-mingle resources and undertake joint planning efforts.

When Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast on October 29, 2012, the storm affected nearly 70 national park sites. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the country's various conservation corps have played a vital role in efforts on-the-ground in the disaster-affected communities.

The newest corps members will serve as role models for the Obama Administration’s ongoing efforts to build a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, called 21 CSC. Building on the legacy of President Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression in the 1930s, the 21 CSC aims to help young people – including diverse low-income, underserved and at-risk youth, as well as returning veterans – gain valuable training and work experience while accomplishing needed conservation and restoration service on public lands and waters.

Since 2009, when Interior established its Office of Youth in the Great Outdoors, the department and its agencies have built one of the largest and most visible youth programs at the national level, employing more than 84,000 youth through direct hires and partnerships.

Last week, Secretary Jewell announced that the Interior Department expects to hire approximately 17,000 young people to work on public lands this year.

Secretary Jewell Kicks Off National Fishing and Boating Week with Earth Conservation Corps

On Monday, June 3, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould at Earth Conservation Corps’s Pump House location on the Anacostia River to kick off a day of recreational and educational activities in recognition of National Fishing and Boating Week. Over 200 students from D.C. metro area elementary and middle schools had the chance to enjoy fishing and boating activities with Secretary Jewell, and learn about fish and wildlife conservation through hands-on activities.

Also participating in the event were Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, and Bob Nixon, founder of Earth Conservation Corps. The staff of Earth Conservation Corps was on hand to demonstrate the organization’s live “osprey-cam,” and introduce visitors to birds of prey from their Raptor Education Program.

The event was sponsored by 13 local and federal government agencies, businesses, and nonprofits. 
 


Secretary Jewell, holding a bird from Earth Conservation Corps's Raptor Education Program, pictured with Daryl Wallace, ECC Media Arts Director 



A boat that took students and guests for a ride down the Anacostia



Earth Conservation Corps Staff Daryl Wallace and Kellie Bolinder giving a demonstration



A fire boat on the Anacostia River puts on a demonstration for the event