Vermont Youth Conservation Corps School Crew Builds a Disc Golf Course

Article written by Melody McKnight and appears in the VYCC U32-Montpelier High School Crew Blog

So much has happened in such a short time! After finishing at Osprey Hill Farm earlier in the month, our crew was asked by the U-32 Athletics department to help in the creation of a bona-fide disc golf course for the school. Previously all disc-golf on school grounds had been played using two strips of flagging tape wrapped around trees to indicate hole locations. While somewhat functional, this left a lot to be desired by anyone who had played on a real course.

Our first task was to tour the proposed course with Steve and Jeff and determine if any of the holes should/could be shifted. During this process we also flagged out approximately how wide each “green” around the hole would need to be to create a safe space for players.

We spent time shifting a few of the holes to be more visible or easily accessible from the trail to make the course as user friendly as possible. Once we finished our tour of the locations, we started in on the course.

We averaged about 1.5 holes/tees each day for the whole project. This may not sound like a lot, but each hole was a 20 foot diameter circle (314 square feet!) that needed to be leveled, cleared of roots, and brushed down to mineral soil. The tees, while smaller, were often situated next to large trees, and so there were many more roots to contend with while shaping them.

A few of excavation sites turned up some forest critters, which we did our best to relocate away from any holes or tees.

To avoid the forest underbrush reclaiming the holes, we needed to cover each clearing with wood chips. Rather than pay for woodchips to surface a total of more than 3000 square feet of hole/tee area, we opted to collect debris from the forest and utilize U-32’s woodchipper to create our surfacing material. Many thanks to Charlie, who helped us greatly in chipping and collecting the wood for this project.

On the last day of the project, our students helped Alpha-test the course and determine what some of the pars should be by playing through all nine holes together.

Currently, the course still needs to have baskets installed, but this will hopefully be happening over the summer and then the U-32 Disc Golf course will be ready for action! Stay tuned!


A Photo Collage for Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell

After receiving a photo from Mile High Youth Corps with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell from last week's announcement of 21st Century Conservation Service Corps grants, we thought "Wow! Secretary Jewell really has visited with a large number of Corpsmembers and Corps staff nationwide."

Based on our count, in only slightly over a year in office, Secretary Jewell has already met Corpsmembers from a total of 20 different Service and Conservation Corps programs! (See the list below) She has also spent time with youth and Corps completing service projects.

As a token of appreciation, we pulled together all of our photos from her visits to Corps and public lands, as well as photos from the FDR Memorial and The Corps Network 2014 National Conference. We hope you enjoy the collage. If you want to share it, we posted it on Twitter and Facebook.

1. Urban Corps of San Diego County
2. Rocky Mountain Youth Corps
3. Kupu / Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps
4. EOC Fresno Local Conservation Corps
5. CiviCorps
6. Southwest Conservation Corps
7. Northwest Youth Corps
8. California Conservation Corps
9. Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa
10. New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg
11. Earth Conservation Corps
12. DC Green Corps
13. Montgomery County Conservation Corps
14. Student Conservation Association
15. Conservation Corps North Bay
16. Utah Conservation Corps
17. Mile High Youth Corps
18. EarthCorps
19. LA Conservation Corps
20. Montana Conservation Corps

2012 Election Features Highest Youth Voter Turnout to Date, Brings Other Good News

On Tuesday, young voters proved the predictions and pundits wrong. Instead of turning out to vote in record lows, exit polls indicate that “voters from ages 18 to 29 represented 19 percent of all those who voted on Tuesday,” constituting their greatest share of the electorate to date. In 2008, young voters represented 18 percent of those Americans who voted.

Peter Levine, director of Tufts University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), was quoted by Youth Today as saying, “This voting bloc can no longer be an afterthought to any political party or campaign.”

For The Corps Network and National Service supporters, the 2012 Election also brought additional good news. We congratulate Representative Martin Heinrich of New Mexico on becoming the first AmeriCorps Alum elected to the U.S. Senate. We also express our congratulations to Stefanie Mach, an alumna of Americorps NCCC, who was elected to the Arizona State House of Representatives.

Finally, we would like to congratulate U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH) on his re-election and U.S. Representative Mazie Hirono (HI) on her election to the U.S. Senate. In this current Congressional session, Senator Sherrod introduced The Youth Corps Act in the Senate, while Senator-Elect Hirono did so in the House of Representatives. If passed, the legislation would open up an additional funding stream for Service and Conservation Corps through the U.S. Department of Labor.