Recreation Not Red Tape Act passes House Committee on Natural Resources with 21CSC Act Included

Legislation encourages development of new recreation areas, as well as increased engagement of veterans in Corps and outdoor recreation through 21CSC Act

21CSC Corpsmember of the Year Speaks at Launch of National Commission on Service

Left to right: Kent Abernathy, Executive Director, National Commission on Military, National and Public Service; Earl Bowman, 21CSC Corpsmember of the Year, 2018; Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO, The Corps Network.


January 18 marked the official launch of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. As the name implies, the Commission’s task is to explore ways to increase participation across these three service categories with the overarching goal of addressing America’s security and domestic challenges.

In a recent op-ed published in The Hill, Commission Chairman Dr. Joe Heck said the Commission “…intend[s] to listen to the American public, and learn from those who serve — and who want to serve — to determine how best to instill a strong spirit of service and identify barriers to service.”

Dr. Heck, and others in attendance at the Commission’s launch event in Washington, DC, had the chance to listen to Earl Bowman, The Corps Network’s 2018 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) Corpsmember of the Year and an AmeriCorps alumnus of Delaware State Parks Veterans Conservation Corps.

Earl spoke to a packed room, detailing how he discovered his passion for service. A volunteer firefighter, a member of the Delaware Air National Guard, and now a full-time employee with Delaware State Parks, Earl is a great example of what can be accomplished through service. However, he is by no means the only example. In a few short weeks, The Corps Network will recognize five additional outstanding Corpsmembers of the Year at our 2018 National Conference. These young men and women have exceeded the expectations of their Corps by exhibiting outstanding leadership skills and demonstrating an earnest commitment to service and civic engagement.

Service and Conservation Corps have a rich history of service to country. As descendants of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) – a Depression-era program created as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal – today’s Corps, most of which are nonprofits, provide service opportunities for many populations across the country, including people like Earl and other military veterans from all branches.

The CCC was an enormously successful program. During its operation from 1933 to 1942, the program enrolled over 3.4 million persons, including over 25,000 veterans. Corpsmembers lived in camps managed by the U.S. Army and engaged in reforestation and other reclamation projects. The Army’s experience managing an operation of this magnitude provided preparation for the massive call-up of civilians in World War II.

Across the county, modern Corps collectively enroll over 25,000 participants annually. The 21CSC is an initiative to grow the capacity of Corps to engage 100,000 participants annually. Last week, the country got one step closer to this goal with passage of the 21CSC Act out of the United States House Committee on Natural Resources. Among other provisions, this legislation would make it easier for federal agencies to partner with Corps in putting young people and veterans to work on priority projects.

As the Commission gets going, Service and Conservation Corps are a great place to begin exploring ways to engage and inspire a new generation of citizens.

21CSC Act Passes in United States House Committee on Natural Resources with Unanimous Bipartisan Support

The bill, which now moves to the full House of Representatives for consideration, would make it easier for Corps to partner with federal agencies and engage more young adults and veterans in addressing backlogged maintenance and other critical projects on America’s public lands and waters.

Corps and 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative Touted as Strategy for Engaging Next Generation of Park Visitors During Senate Hearing by Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks


On the invitation of Ranking Member Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), John Leong – CEO of Kupu, which operates Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps – testified on benefits of Corps for participants and public lands, and how the Corps model helps create the next generation of outdoor stewards, recreationists, and entrepreneurs

Veterans Corps Discussed at Capitol Hill Briefing Hosted by House Outdoor Recreation Caucus and Outdoor Industry Association on Veterans and the Outdoors

Amy Sovocool, Co-CEO of Conservation Legacy, joined panelists from several outdoor and veteran-related organizations to discuss model and benefits of Veterans Conservation Corps programs.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Sen. Lamar Alexander visit Conservation Corps Crew serving in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

On 101st birthday of the National Park Service, Secretary Zinke and Sen. Alexander visit AmeriCorps members with American Conservation Experience (ACE)

The Corps Network Applauds Bipartisan Introduction of New 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) Act in United States House and Senate

A merger of the previously-introduced Public Lands Service Corps Act and 21CSC Act, the bill would advance the 21CSC’s goal of engaging 100,000 young adults and veterans in Corps through addressing backlogged maintenance and other mission-critical projects on America’s public lands and waters. 

The Corps Network and Montana Conservation Corps Congratulate Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) on his Confirmation as Secretary of the Interior

The Corps Network and Montana Conservation Corps congratulate Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) on being confirmed as Secretary of the Interior through a 68-31 vote in the United States Senate on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

The Partnership for the 21CSC Announces 21CSC Champions of the Year for 2017

Award recognizes leaders within agencies and organizations with which 21CSC organizations partner


The Corps Network Applauds Congressional Passage of National Park Service Centennial Act, Looks Forward to Legislation Being Signed into Law

Bill contains provisions that would allow Corps to engage more veterans and help Corps alumni translate service experience into careers with federal resource management agencies