Utah Conservation Corps Bilingual Youth Corps Highlighted

Photo by Eli Lucero - Herald Journal 

"Youth corps introduces uninitiated to great outdoors" 

TONY GROVE — On a bright Wednesday morning just before 9 a.m., Tony Grove is virtually silent, save for a few birds chirping and the gentle gallop of horseback riders off in the distance.

But only a half hour later, a group from the Utah Conservation Corps Bilingual Youth Corps have arrived — doing some stretching, laughing, and then preparing for a 4-mile hike into the wilderness terrain to White Pine Lake.

Their gear includes yellow hard hats, boots, axes, shovels, and backpacks stuffed with food and water. And who can forget their uniforms: A pine green shirt spotting the UCC logo.

“OK, off like a herd of turtles,” said Kate Stephens, program director for the Utah Conservation Corps, as the 12-member group headed up the path that would lead them to the lake.

The trip was part of the final week of a five week session of Bilingual Youth Corps, an extension of the Utah Conservation Corps, which is under the USU AmeriCorps. The final week of the session is conducted entirely outside, and for that week, the group was assigned to put up signs and repair existing ones in the White Pine Lake area.

Founded in 2008, Bilingual Youth Corps is now in its fourth year.

“The Latino population had exploded over the last decade,” Stephens said in an interview on her reason for founding the youth corps. “The Latino community does not recreate as much on our public lands — generally, it’s just not a part of their culture — so this was an opportunity to reach out. ”

She continued, “We wanted our UCC to be representative of a changing demographic in Logan.”

Read more about this innovative program and this project here.