2018 Project of the Year: California Conservation Corps - Save the Sierras, Tree Mortality Program

At The Corps Network’s annual National Conference in Washington, DC, we celebrate the important service Corps provide to communities and young people across the country by honoring Corps who have taken on especially noteworthy endeavors within the past year. Projects of the Year are innovative and show a Corps’ ability to work with partner organizations to give Corpsmembers a positive experience and provide the community with meaningful improvements. Learn more

*The California Conservation Corps Save the Sierras initiative is being recognized as the first ever 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) Project of the Year. The 21CSC is a national initiative to increase the number of young adults and recent veterans serving on public lands. The 21CSC Project of the Year represents the initiative’s vision to improve and maintain public lands and waters through public-private partnerships and the engagement of young adults in meaningful resource management projects. 

California is currently experiencing an unprecedented environmental disaster in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, home to a unique ecosystem that exists nowhere else.

Unhealthy forests, dramatically affected by California’s drought, were not able to defend themselves against the bark beetle, whose infestations have produced dry trees that are easy fuel for wildfires. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimates there are currently millions of dead and dying trees, a majority of which are concentrated in the Sierra Nevada Region. This condition has contributed to California’s wildfire epidemic, in which over 1.1 million acres have burned in 2017 alone.

The Save the Sierras project was established by the California Conservation Corps (CCC) to prevent further environmental devastation and assist underserved communities affected by the crisis. By repairing and restoring forests and natural resources, this project has made a significant impact in stopping the spread of tree mortality.

The project began in January 2017 with fifty Corpsmembers. They were trained and certified in the use of chainsaws, practical safety, flora and fauna identification, First Aid, CPR, and AmeriCorps values.

Armed with chainsaws and gumption, the participants removed thousands of diseased trees to promote a healthier forest. Why cut down trees to save a forest? A lack of management has led to overgrown forests that are dominated by small, sickly trees that compete with healthy trees for water and other resources. The path to a better future is strategic forest management.

Corpsmembers work a revolving schedule of eight 10-hour days in the field, followed by six days off for educational opportunities, volunteering, and rest. This exemplifies the service learning component of the project and its members.

In July through September 2017s, the CCC members cut down over 5,000 dead and dying trees. Before the end of the year, they will have cut down more than 15,000 trees. They have improved firebreaks, cleared trees away from structures, and increased the defensible space around countless byways. During the course of 56 spikes, Corpsmembers served a total of 47,757 hours. Additionally, 10 campgrounds have been restored and are able to be enjoyed by the public.

To make this project possible, the CCC collaborated with multiple public and private community partners, including Southern California Edison, the U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, California Volunteers, local corps, fire councils, cities and counties. The CCC strengthened its relationship with the local California-based Corps and AmeriCorps by recruiting members and sharing this experience with them.

The Save the Sierras Corpsmembers recently attended a career fair constructed especially for them and their experience. They were amazed at the range and number of opportunities available to them after their year of service. Corpsmembers were introduced to jobs with organizations ranging from regional tree service companies, to California State Parks and Southern California Edison. Representatives from these entities presented opportunities to the Corpsmembers that they were already fully qualified for as a direct result of this project.

During their year of training, Corpsmembers had the opportunity to earn their S212 wildland fire chainsaw certification and Faller 3 certification. Multiple Corpsmembers earned their high school diplomas during the project, and several others transferred to a fire crew within the CCC with the hopes of becoming firefighters. Fifteen Corpsmembers signed up for a second term allowing them to complete two years in the project. Save the Sierras combines the innovation of healthy forest management while also providing an environment wherein members can grow personally. 

California Conservation Corps Corpsmembers Continue Fire Response

From the California Conservation Corps

This week the California Conservation Corps has more than 600 corpsmembers -- 47 crews -- out on eight different wildfires, including the devastating Valley Fire in Lake County.

Crews are involved in fire suppression and fire camp support for Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service. There are also two crews helping displaced residents at a Red Cross shelter.

Photos: Camarillo fire crews on the Rough Fire in Fresno County

Boiler Plate: 
This week the California Conservation Corps has more than 600 corpsmembers -- 47 crews -- out on eight different wildfires, including the devastating Valley Fire in Lake County.

Adaptation: Emergency drought funding gives Calif.'s Conservation Corps a chance to cut forest fire risks

- "A field team of the CCC ponders what they should cut next"


The Article was originally published by: E&E Publishing LLC

The California Conservation Corps' Website


The whine of chain saws fills Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, located just a few miles north of Santa Cruz, Calif., a beach town best known for its surfing. From atop the wooden observation deck, perched on the rare and unique Santa Cruz sandhills -- an area of the park that 10 million years ago was part of the Pacific Ocean -- two dozen California Conservation Corps (CCC) members wearing brightly colored hard hats can be seen hacking away at everything green down in the forest below.

"This type of flora and fauna is fire-dependent -- this sandhill chaparral habitat needs bare sand," said Tim Reilly, an environmental scientist with the Santa Cruz district of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. "It's a very rare habitat -- probably the most rare in California -- and it's a challenge to know what type of fire we need to use to manage it."

If left unattended, about once every 85 years, a natural fire cycle would restore the Santa Cruz sandhills to its sandy, ideal state. But as protected public lands, the area is now under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Parks and Recreation and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. Due to a lack of manpower, the agencies had been taking a mostly hands-off approach.

"We have a huge fuel load here," Reilly said, gesturing around him at the Douglas firs and oak trees rising out of the brush-covered landscape. "Looking around it made us nervous."

In 2010, the agencies collaborated to begin doing prescriptive burns, or controlled burns, for 50 acres of the sandhills. Five years later, they've only managed to clear 20.

For the next three months, Parks and Recreation and Cal Fire will have the manpower available to them to work on this project and many more in the region's forests, thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) March 2014 emergency drought relief funding package that allocated $687.4 million to communities facing water, food and housing assistance. Part of that money was given to the CCC.

"This freed up money to perform fire fuel reduction work," said Chad Harris, a CCC crew leader and supervisor of the Big Basin Redwoods State Park tent camp located a few miles away that is providing the CCC manpower.

The art of keeping fires local

Established in 1976 by Brown during his first term in office, the CCC is a state agency that hires young Californians between the ages of 18 and 25 to do natural resource work on public lands, such as plant trees, construct trails, install fences, and respond to natural disasters like fires and floods.

The emergency drought funding, which the CCC will have access to through June 2016, has allowed the state agency to create a six-month, 36-member residential tent camp crew dedicated to fire fuel debris reduction. Big Basin is the tent camp's third location. Previously, the camp was set up at Silverwood Lake in San Bernardino County and then Lake Camanche in Calaveras County. The long-term housing situation not only allows CCC members to live near the area they're tasked with working on, but also gives partner agencies ample time to use the crews for big projects.

"It helps to jump-start what we can do," said Martha Diepenbrock, director of external affairs for the CCC. "For our partners, these are funded resources that can be applied to high-priority projects."

Drought funding has also paid for an additional five crews across the state that are dedicated to water conservation projects on both public and private lands. Corps are trained to do things like turf removal, replace outdoor irrigation systems, and install items like low-flow toilets and water fixtures.

The idea behind the fire hazard reduction camps is to prevent future fires from raging out of control.

"We can reduce the fire load to keep fires local if they do break out or prevent them from taking an entire hillside," Harris said. "We can help keep the land accessible for fire vehicles, as well."

Reducing the fire load is especially important in California, where record drought has created tinderbox conditions in the state's public and private lands alike. Across the state, forest officials recently reported that at least 12 million drought-weakened trees have died, mostly in the southern and central parts of the state, but tree death seems to be spreading north as the drought lingers.

Climate change poses increasing challenges to forests in the Golden State, including a forecast increase in the number of fires, insects and disease. Furthermore, a study out last week finds wildfires are occurring more often at higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada, being driven by both climate change and some forest management practices. According to Cal Fire, some of the best adaptation strategies include forest thinning and fuels reduction in order to make forests more resistant to wildfires and to reestablish ecosystem resilience to natural cycles of fire and other events.

Park Ranger Emily Bertram, who is stationed at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, said the drought has taken a toll on the state's oldest state park, which contains 10,800 acres of old-growth forest and is home to the largest contiguous population of ancient coastal redwoods south of San Francisco.

'We're a tinderbox'

"We've seen record numbers of trees falling down, unassociated with any weather event," Bertram said. "We think it's from generalized stress because of the drought. We're a tinderbox."

Big Basin hasn't been touched by wildfire, but in 2008, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) declared a state of emergency for Santa Cruz County when the Summit fire burned 4,270 acres, resulting in the evacuation of 1,400 homes and costing taxpayers more than $16 million. In May 2014, a wildfire scorched a building and 5 acres near Mount Madonna before two helicopters were able to put it out.

But as conditions continue to deteriorate because of the record drought, fire is a persistent fear in Santa Cruz and beyond. As of yesterday, nine wildfires were blazing in California, according to Cal Fire, including the 6,900-acre Wragg fire, which broke out near Lake Berryessa in Napa and Solano counties and has destroyed one structure and is threatening 150 more. On Saturday, the Lowell fire broke out in Nevada County and has burned 1,700 acres and is 20 percent contained. According to the National Interagency Fire Center's summer wildfire potential outlook issued July 1, in Northern California, long-term drought conditions are "likely to lead to a condition where above normal fire activity is possible, even though the forecasted weather conditions indicate a continued somewhat frequent moisture input."

"Throughout the park, vegetation grows and it's a constant struggle to have enough resources," said Chris Spohrer, Santa Cruz District services manager for the California Department of Parks and Recreation. "This is a focused group of skilled labor that can provide fire safety where really it's been needed for the last 10 years."

For Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency John Laird, the use of CCC to do fire load reduction work with the help and blessing of both the Department of Parks and Recreation as well as Cal Fire is an example of state agency collaboration at its finest.

"I know I'm supposed to love all my children equally," he said, laughing, "but I'm glad to see them getting along."

For the corps members, who will be stationed at the tent camp in Big Basin until mid-October, working 10-hour days clearing parts of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park -- but also helping the parks department with a dozen other projects -- it's a way to receive job training, as well as make some money.

Brian Hougland, a 28-year-old CCC member, seemed cheerful, despite being covered in a layer of sweat and dirt. Standing in the midday sun, Hougland said the crew uses "anything to get the job done," including but not limited to axes, chain saws, rakes and pitchforks. Currently, the CCC crew is clearing 10 acres of forestland to about knee height so that it can be burned in a controlled manner.

A California resident since 2000, Hougland said he feels like the CCC's work was crucially important in trying to temper the effects of the wildfire season California is certain to experience. And the drought, he said, isn't helping.

"The drought turns everything into kindling -- even the trees that look healthy and green on the outside, they're dry inside," he said. "I like to say we're being the bodyguards for the forest."

Article Written By Brittany Patterson

California Crews Dispatched to Wildfires

From the California Conservation Corps

The California Conservation Corps currently has 11 crews -- 167 corpsmembers -- assisting the U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire on fires throughout the state. More crews are expected to be dispatched by the end of the week.

Corpsmembers provide initial attack on the firelines and also help with logistical support at the fire camps.

Boiler Plate: 
The California Conservation Corps currently has 11 crews -- 167 corpsmembers -- assisting the U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire on fires throughout the state. More crews are expected to be dispatched by the end of the week.

Four Ways to Make Hard Work and Service More Fun

By John Griffith and featuring California Conservation Corps member, Zach DeJoe

Many people believe that while hard work and service have great intrinsic value, they don’t leave much room for fun. I disagree. Fun includes things like joyful purpose, awe-ha moments, magnificent mood magnifiers, and choreographed acts of celebration. In fact, these elements of fun are actually essential to a successful service project.  Here is how to put them into practice on June 19th during your Great Outdoors Month Day of Service to keep your participants’ morale and productivity at an optimum level.

1) Joyful Purpose: Understand and share your project’s story.

Individuals are more receptive to experiencing fun at work if they feel that the project they are engaged in is meaningful. So in addition to making sure that everyone understands the safety considerations, because getting injured isn’t fun, be sure to tell your project’s story. For example, as a crew supervisor in the California Conservation Corps (CCC), I frequently take young adults to the beach where we spend all day removing invasive European beach grass from sand dunes. If I left the explanation of our project as, “we’re here to pull grass,” the work would quickly be perceived as a “boring waste of time” and “sucks.” Smiles would become rarer and sighs would become more common. Instead, I point out (or show a picture of) a small, endangered bird called a snowy plover, and describe how predators are taking advantage of the cover that the invasive grass provides to ambush and gobble up snowy plover chicks. Suddenly grass-pulling has a meaningful and motivating purpose. Once the crew understands that they are helping to save an endangered species (and cute baby endangered species, at that!) the “grass pulling” takes on a joyful purpose and everyone becomes more receptive to fun—and more productive. You may not have something as cool as a fluffy baby plover chick to illuminate your project’s joyful purpose, but always take the time to make sure that you and all the other participants understand why you are doing the project and who and/or what is positively impacted by the outcome of your collective effort.  

2) Awe-ha Moments: Taking time to explore worksite discoveries.

Awe-ha moments are seldom planned and should never be ignored. These instances are stumbled upon while working and are able to invoke a sense of belonging to something more vast than routine life. When experienced as a group, awe-ha moments provide a bonding opportunity that can lead to excitement and therefore more fun. They can bring disparate members together and make it easier for the group to coalesce into a team. In fact, Dacher Ketner, a University of California professor who researches the feeling of awe says that, “brief experiences of awe redefine the self in terms of the collective and orient our actions toward interest of others.”

Lucky for us, awe-ha moments are awaiting discovery all over a project site! We just have to be committed to exploring their mysteries. We have to choose to be present when they present themselves. Awe-ha moments are the baby hummingbirds peeking over the rim of the nest that was discovered in a bush while weeding the community garden, the yellow-spotted black salamander found while moving the log off the trail, the strange creature washed ashore and gently poked during the beach cleanup, and the bright red flower resisting the pavement by blooming through a crack in the parking lot of the school that you’re renovating. Most awe-ha moments are from the natural world, and frequently experienced in the middle of the city. Taking time to share in the wonder of these discoveries will increase both the levels of fun and productivity of your participants.

3) Magnificent Mood Magnifiers: Bring snacks, drinks, and music. By Zach DeJoe

Hello, this is Zach DeJoe, a Corpsmember on John Griffith’s crew. I’m jumping in on his article to give the Millennial perspective on how to have fun with Magnificent Mood Magnifiers (MMM’s). MMM’s are little interjections into your Great Outdoors Day of Service that have the ability to change the flavor and rhythm of your time together. Let’s start with flavor. While in the CCC, corps members are responsible for bringing their own food to work, but volunteers may have arrived to your Day of Service assuming that food was going to be provided. Or, there may be volunteers coming from areas where quality food isn’t readily accessible—food deserts are common in some areas of our nation. By making sure your Day of Service project includes healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, yogurt, and of course, water for hydration, participants may avoid occurrences of fatigue, reduce episodes of low blood sugar, or worse. It is much easier to have fun when you’re energized with food and fully hydrated. And anyone snacking on what you bring will consider you to be pretty cool.

Over the course of the day, you might want a little something more than snacks to lift your spirits. Listening to music just may be the best pick-me-up tool at our disposal. When asked what could make service work more enjoyable, our CCC crew unanimously—and all at once—proclaimed the gift of music as the answer. Not only has music been scientifically shown to boost physical performance and increase endurance, it has also been proven to reduce stress, elevate mood, and reduce anxiety. And these are just some of the beneficial effects music can have on both our bodies and minds. When deciding on what sort of music to play during a day of service, it is important to choose something that won’t offend your fellow volunteers or the community, probably something more mainstream. Basically what you want is something upbeat and positive that is suitable for your crew. Working with a bunch of 20-somethings may require something very different from working with a crew that may be a bit more long in the tooth. Balancing your Pharell with your Conway Twitty may be a difficult task, but it’s worth the effort when having more fun is the goal.

4) Choreographed Acts of Celebration: Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Lunch breaks are not just for eating anymore. They are also for dancing. Dancing can add way, way, way more fun to your Great Outdoors Day of Service. A choreographed dance that is easy to learn is guaranteed to raise morale. In 2014, I was invited to present at the National Geographic Bioblitz Event in Golden Gate National Parks. Since there were no specific details about what my presentation was supposed to include, I created a dance, taught it to some CCC youth, and we performed it onstage at the event. Since then I have received Bioblitz Dance video responses from all over the world. Recently, over three days’ worth of lunch breaks, I taught the dance to my current crew during a week that we were restoring the coastal dunes AKA “grass pulling.” Like I mentioned earlier, grass pulling can be perceived as monotonous after a couple days, and while the cute baby plover chick story helps, some projects just need a couple dance moves. And the lunchtime-dance breaks definitely did their job. During the practices, I saw every Corpsmember smile. I heard every Corpsmember laugh. And the fun from those lunch-time practices spilled into the working hours. Everyone agreed that it made the project a lot more fun. This has been my experience every time that I’ve taught a group of people the Bioblitz Dance. They laugh and smile through the practice sessions and feel more connected to one another by the time their moves are in sync. I invite you to do the Bioblitz Dance during your Day of Service. Visit my Youtube channel to learn from the tutorial videos and watch the dozens of other Bioblitz Dance video responses from all over the world. https://www.youtube.com/user/TotemMagicGoingMAD 

In addition to joyful purpose, awe-ha moments, magnificent mood magnifiers, and choreographed acts of celebration, there are a range of things that you can do to add fun to your Great Outdoors Day of Service. From starting with an icebreaker activity, to playing an inclusive game, to some friendly work competition, to a closing circle where the participants express gratitude for one another and the collective mission, your fun potential is realized by your willingness to be creative.

Be very mindful that regardless of how hard the work is or what kind of project you are doing on your Day of Service, fun arises naturally from a group with a high morale. A quick search on the Internet will reveal numerous studies proving that high workplace morale also leads to more production and less accidents. Morale is highest in a group where participants feel respected, welcomed, and included. So start the fun happening just by giving everyone a welcoming, “hello.”  And then move forward with some joyful purpose, awe-ha moments, magnificent mood magnifiers, and choreographed acts of celebration. By applying these techniques everyone will realize and appreciate that making the world a better place doesn’t just require a bunch of hard work, it is also provides opportunities to have a lot of fun.

Boiler Plate: 
Many people believe that while hard work and service have great intrinsic value, they don’t leave much room for fun. I disagree. Fun includes things like joyful purpose, awe-ha moments, magnificent mood magnifiers, and choreographed acts of celebration. In fact, these elements of fun are actually essential to a successful service project. Here is how to put them into practice on June 19th during your Great Outdoors Month Day of Service to keep your participants’ morale and productivity at an optimum level.

California Conservation Corps Helps with Oil Spill Cleanup

Story provided by the California Conservation Corps

Members of the California Conservation Corps continue their work this work cleaning up the beaches in Santa Barbara County, site of last week's pipeline spill.

The CCC crew is working under the direction of the state Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response and has been trained in hazardous material and oil spill cleanup procedures. The corpsmembers are working 12-hour days.

The CCC's work is expected to continue for several weeks.

Boiler Plate: 
Members of the California Conservation Corps continue their work this work cleaning up the beaches in Santa Barbara County, site of last week's pipeline spill.

Governor Jerry Brown Visits California Conservation Corps Headquarters

Story and photos provided by the California Conservation Corps 

California Governor Jerry Brown spent time away from his Capitol office in Sacramento a few weeks back to visit the California Conservation Corps' statewide headquarters. Brown had a chance to meet with staff and also field questions from several dozen corpsmembers in attendance.

Questions ranged from drought relief to the governor's vision in founding the CCC during his first term in 1976.

This was Gov. Brown's second visit to the CCC headquarters in the last few years.

Boiler Plate: 
California Governor Jerry Brown spent time away from his Capitol office in Sacramento a few weeks back to visit the California Conservation Corps' statewide headquarters. Brown had a chance to meet with staff and also field questions from several dozen corpsmembers in attendance.

2015 Project of the Year: California Conservation Corps' Energy Corps

Energy Corps
California Conservation Corps

In November 2012, California voters passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39), establishing a fund to support projects throughout the state that improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation in schools. One such project is California Conservation Corps’ Energy Corps: a program launched in the fall of 2013 to help California schools conduct energy surveys and reduce energy consumption, while also providing Corpsmembers the opportunity to gain technical training in the energy field. 

The Energy Corps model is based on the idea that much of the energy work typically performed by engineers and energy analysts can, and should, be performed by entry-level employees. The goal is to open up new positions for young adults within the rapidly expanding energy efficiency industry. Energy Corps provides Corpsmembers with the skills and knowledge to complete these entry-level tasks and pursue advanced training. To date, nearly 250 California Conservation Corps (CCC) Energy Corps members have completed an 80-hour training in the fundamentals of energy use and energy efficiency; nearly 60 have completed an 80-hour course in basic lighting; 84 completed OSHA 10-hour training; and 76 finished the 12.5 hour Energy University online course.

Energy Corps members learn to work in teams to complete “whole building” Energy Opportunity Surveys, which evaluate the interior and exterior of a structure to identify current energy usage. Corpsmembers then visit schools, inspecting each building’s lighting, windows, heating, and ventilation and air-conditioning systems. The data the Corpsmembers collect about each school’s energy consumption is analyzed by energy industry experts who quantify potential energy saving opportunities and provide recommendations for how schools can implement energy and cost-saving measures.

In Energy Corps’ first year, Corpsmembers from 12 Crews in 11 locations conducted Energy Opportunity Surveys of 900 schools. They evaluated 7,400 structures and 36 million square feet of building space. The data from these surveys has allowed analysts to recommend actions schools can take to save more than 50 million kWh annually and millions of dollars. Not to mention, many of the schools where Energy Corps works are in low-income communities. Without the services provided by Energy Corps, these schools would likely not be able to hire an outside firm to conduct an energy survey, which is required in order to receive state funding to pursue energy efficiency projects.

In addition to conducting surveys, Energy Corps members also have the skills to install basic energy efficiency retrofits at the schools, including lighting and control upgrades. Corpsmembers also complement their training by providing presentations about energy conservation to students at the schools where they serve.

Through Energy Corps, the CCC is tackling some of America’s Greatest Challenges – including youth unemployment and climate change – by creating public service work and youth training opportunities in the energy sector. 

AmeriCorps NCCC and California Conservation Corps Partner to Build Stronger Corps to Crewleader Pathway

On November 5th, Erin Healy, Programs and Operations Division Chief of the California Conservation Corps (CCC), and Charles L. Davenport Jr., Acting Regional Director of AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region, signed a MOU into effect that allows CCC Crewleaders to be given preferential selection as a Team Leader with NCCC Pacific Region. Crewleaders must have at least 6 months of experience in their position and be able to get a reference from their Center Director to qualify for the preference.

In addition to attending the signing event, U.S. Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-6) wrote in a letter (shown right) that "This partnership is a prime example of how different levels of government can successfully work together toward achieving a common goal." Congresswoman Matsui is a long-time supporter of Corps programs, and was recognized as a Corps Network Congressional Champion in 2008.

You can read more on the partnership in the attached MOU. Both AmeriCorps NCCC and California Conservation Corps are members of The Corps Network.

California Conservation Corps' Annual Volunteer Day Targets 14 Environmental Projects Throughout State

Press Release from California Conservation Corps Foundation

For Immediate Release                              
October 9, 2014                                             


Paul Carrillo, Exec. Dir., CCCF                                                                       
(916) 475-4572 (

Martha Diepenbrock, CCC Dir. Ext. Affairs
(510) 520-0108 (Martha.diepenbrock@ccc.ca.gov)

Hundreds of volunteers from the California Conservation Corps, nonprofit groups and California businesses are joining forces on Saturday, October 18, to work on environmental projects from Humboldt County to San Diego that promise to have high impact on local communities.

Many of the corpsmember volunteers were on CCC teams that devoted nearly 280,000 hours to firefighting and logistical support for Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service as they battled more than 50 different fires throughout the state since July 1.  Crews from every CCC center, along with most of the satellite locations, participated in firefighting efforts. 

A project of the CCC Foundation, the Corps’ third annual Volunteer Day also is designed to raise awareness and visibility of conservation efforts throughout the state. Media/photo opportunities are available at each location. 

Projects, chosen by participating CCC centers, include:

Humboldt County – Fortuna Center corpsmembers will partner with Friends of the Dune in dune restoration, native planting and trail maintenance at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, 220 Stamps Lane, Manila.  8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact: Larry Notheis, Center Director, 707 725 5106 .     

Shasta County  – Redding Center Volunteers will spruce up cut grass, remove fencing, level gravel caps and pour concrete curbing at the Parkville Pioneer Cemetery, 6121 Parkville Road,  in Anderson. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact: Scott Wolsey, 530 241 3030.  Paul Carrillo (day of event) 916 475 4572.  NOTE:  This event has been postponed until November (date to be announced), because many Redding Center corpsmembers are engaged in firefighting and logistical support.

Mendocino County – Ukiah Center corpsmembers will be redefining trails and providing general cleanup at the Redwood Valley Education Center, Pinecrest Drive, Redwood Valley, in Ukiah.  9 a.m.-1 p.m. Contact: Jimmy Galvan/Cathy Barr 707 463 2822. Tom Riley (day of event), 916 266 1565.

Sacramento County – Greenwood Center corpsmembers provide habitat for pollinators and songbirds and help with ground preparation for the pollinator garden site at Leataata Elementary School, 401 McClatchy Way, in Sacramento.  9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Contact: Marie Mijares 530 823 4075.  Steve Swatt (day of event), 916 849 8000.

El Dorado County – Greenwood Center corpsmembers will construct schoolyard habitat, clear and level ground, build trail causeways, plant trees and shrubs and install drip irrigation system at Sutter Mill Elementary School, 4801Luneman Road, Placerville.  9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Contact: Brian Lussier 530 823 4075.

El Dorado County – Greenwood Center corpsmembers will clear trail corridors, prepare area for community farm and native plant nursery site, clean up historic structures, gardens and orchards at the Wakamatsu Colony Farm, 941 Cold Spring Rd., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact:  Brian Lussier 530 823 4075

El Dorado County – Tahoe Center corpsmembers will be rebuilding the obstacle course at Bijou Park, 1099 Al Tahoe Blvd., in South Lake Tahoe.  9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Contact: John Martinez 530 0850.

Santa Cruz County – Corpsmembers from the Monterey Bay Center will be pulling poison hemlock and other invasive weeds, mulching and planting at the Wetlands Restoration Project in Watsonville (Meet at 1810 Main Street).  9 a.m.-3 p.m. Contact: Brenda Burks-Herrmann 831 768 0150 x202. Kevin O’Rourke (day of event) 707 249 5356

San Luis Obispo County – Los Padres Center corpsmembers will be providing trail construction, brush clearing, fence mending and trash removal at the Pismo Preserve Trail.  Highway 101 and Price Canyon.  10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Contact: Mark Rathswohl/Mike Anderson 805 549 3561.

Ventura County – Camarillo Center corpsmembers install a community  garden at the Food  Share Community Garden, 4156 Southbank Road, in Oxnard.  9 a.m.-1 p.m. Contact: Chris Rochte/Paul Campa 805 290 5702.  Cindy Laubacher (day of event) 916 425 6101

Los Angeles County – Corpsmembers from Los Angeles/Norwalk will paint a mural and plant trees at Hollydale Park, 5400 Monroe Ave., South Gate.  9 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact: Chris Rochte (Martin Hernandez/Christian Herrera) 323 509 2254.  Laurie Traktman (day of event) 213 399 7152

Los Angeles County – Corpsmembers from the Pomona Center will renovate numerous animal exhibits and remove non-native plants at the Santa Ana Zoo, 1801 East Chestnut Ave., in Santa Ana.  8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.  Contact: Duane Wilson/Lisa Taylor 909 594 4206.

San Bernardino County – Corpsmembers in the Inland Empire will plant native species, perform trail brushing and maintenance, remove invasive species and litter at Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, 400 Central Ave., in Riverside.  The event will focus on educating youth on the importance of volunteering to improve their community and environment.  8 a.m.-12 p.m.  Contact: Scot Schmier/Pam Knott 909 647 6551.

San Diego County --  Corpsmembers from the San Diego Center will update planting boxes, build support structures to benefit the Multi-generational Community Garden (at senior and day care center), Cuyamaca College at Rancho San Diego near El Cajon.  9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Contact: Victor Avila/Phil Lemke 619 1749.  Dan Savage (day of event) 916 747 1510

The California Conservation Corps was created in 1976.  Since then, 120,000 corps members have provided more than 67 million hours of conservation work – planting more than 21 million trees, improving stream and fish habitats, building and maintaining more than 11,000 miles of trails, and improving California park and recreation areas.  Corpsmembers have also spent more than nine million hours assisting with fires, floods, oil spills, earthquakes and pest infestations.

This year marks the 81st anniversary of the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps, President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal program that put young men to work in the outdoors.  Today's California program was modeled after the 1930s agency.

The California Conservation Corps Foundation is a nonprofit public benefit organization that supports the programs and crewmembers of the California Conservation Corps. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation can be made at www.cccfoundation.net or https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1440473

Boiler Plate: 
Hundreds of volunteers from the California Conservation Corps, nonprofit groups and California businesses are joining forces on Saturday, October 18, to work on environmental projects from Humboldt County to San Diego that promise to have high impact on local communities.