Announcement of Grants Caps Big Week for 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

This week was a notable one in the continuing cultivation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative (21CSC). On Monday, The Partnership for the 21CSC hosted it's 4th meeting at the Department of Agriculture's Washington D.C. Headquarters.

On Wednesday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell with Coca Cola North America President Sandy Douglas announced new 21CSC grants at an event on the Los Angeles River with several Corps in attendance. Keep reading below for more detail on what it means.

4th Partnership for 21CSC Meeting Focuses on Collaboration, Funding, and Celebrating Successes
Representatives from numerous federal agencies, partnering organizations, and 21CSC program operators met in Washington to discuss how to continue making the 21CSC a successful initiative. Most discussions were held in small groups, and focused on key themes including
  • how to find solutions to challenges and barriers that exist in inter-agency collaboration and internal communications
  • how to collect data that is consistent and meaningful across agencies and partners, as well as implement standards across 21CSC program operators to ensure high-quality programs and projects
  • how to identify and put sources of long-term federal funding in place for the 21CSC
  • challenges and opportunities for securing private funding to support the initiative, and how to negotiate meaningful public-private partnerships that are beneficial to all parties
  • federal legislation that would ensure 21CSC has staying power across political administrations
A public afternoon presentation celebrated the successes of the 21CSC to date, and featured speakers from numerous agencies and partners. The next Partnership for 21CSC meeting will be held during The Corps Network's 2015 National Conference, which will take place from February 8-11 in Washington, D.C.  
New 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Grants Support 23 Projects in Collaboration with Six Department of Interior Agencies
On Wednesday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced new Department of Interior 21CSC grants that were made possible by combining $530,823 private funds with matching funds to create project funds totaling $740,000. According to the Department of Interior, "The projects will employ approximately 160 youth and up to 10 veterans in conservation work benefiting our public lands. These projects will engage approximately 300 volunteers within the local communities and conduct restoration activities on over 200 miles of public land."

The agencies that will partner with 21CSC organizations include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.

Of the 23 projects, 19 are going to be completed by members or affiliates of The Corps Network. Many of the projects focus on traditional Corps work such as improving trails, restoring habitat, and environmental education. Some unique project highlights include

  • Conservation Legacy employing two AmeriCorps Environmental Steward program members in South Florida's Everglades ecosystems to work with U.S. Geological Survey biologists to help research and control expanding populations of invasive reptile species.
     
  • Nevada Conservation Corps working with the Bureau of Land Management with six AmeriCorps members to clean-up and reduce the impacts of a recreational shooting range within the Coyote Springs Area of Critical Environmental Concern.
     
  • Utah Conservation Corps employing four Corpsmembers to work with the Bureau of Land Management to build a short trail around the Mill Canyon dinosaur track site to enable more visitors to see the dinosaur tracks while maintaining the site in good condition.
     
  • Arizona and Utah Conservation Corps employing two four-person crews to construct and install several micro-irrigation systems in the northern Navajo Nation that can help encourage gardening, an activity that has obtained renewed interest recently among local communities.

For more information on the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps initiative, please visit www.21csc.org

Wilderness Society Launches 50 Conservation Projects to Honor 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act at June 24 Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Partnership for 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Announces "100 Projects to Restore America"

16 Members and Affiliates of The Corps Network Awarded 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Project Grants

Southwest Conservation Corps works on improving a trail. Among several projects, they were awarded a grant to partner with the Bureau of Reclamation and National Park Service to make improvements to the Historic Railroad Trail at Hoover Dam.

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2014

Request for Proposals: Urban to Rural Experience Trip Videographer

Download Full Request for Proposals and Application Guidelines Here

Since Sally Jewell was sworn in as Secretary of the Interior, she has placed a high priority on getting more youth outdoors. Her passion for this issue is driven by a number of factors, including the public health and educational benefits, as well as the importance of engaging younger generations in fields related to land management and conservation. In 2012, 38% of Interior Department staff were eligible for retirement and Jewell believes it is vital to invest in our youth now to engage the next generation of public lands stewards. One of Jewell’s main proposals to tackle this challenge has been the engagement of youth conservation corps across the country, committing to raising $20 million in private funds to aide in the expansion of the corps.

The Corps Network, the national association of Service and Conservation Corps, seeks to tap Secretary Jewell’s passion for youth to highlight the importance of vital conservation policies – the Antiquities Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. By bringing youth from an urban area to the backcountry of a proposed or designated national monument, this project will show the value these lands have to current and future generations and the importance of the Secretary’s leadership for conserving them.

The Corps Network (TCN) seeks a videographer to accompany two TCN staff members to Idaho to document an “Urban to Rural Experience Trip” in which young people (ranging in age from 16 – 25) from an urban conservation corps will travel to and camp at Boulder White Clouds National Monument.

Using footage from this trip, the videographer will create a 5-minute promotional video to highlight the important environmental conservation work that Corps complete nationwide.

Download Full Request for Proposals and Application Guidelines Here

Boiler Plate: 
The Corps Network seeks a videographer for an urban-to-rural conservation corps trip that will culminate in the production of a 5-minute promotional video to highlight the important environmental conservation work that Corps complete nationwide.

Greening Youth Foundation Launches Atlanta Youth Corps

 

The Greening Youth Foundation, a member of The Corps Network, has launched a new program called the Atlanta Youth Corps. Nick Chiles of the Atlanta BlackStar writes that the new Corps program will help plant gardens around several Atlanta fire stations as one of their first projects. 

Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall has been working with the Greening Youth Foundation to start the Corps. Chiles explains that "GYF will manage the pilot Atlanta Youth Corps program as part of Councilman Hall’s Year of Boulevard initiative, focused on Atlanta’s Boulevard street in the Midtown area. The cost of the public-private partnership will stem from the exact amount needed to complete a project. Each project will be designed in partnership with the City of Atlanta Parks and Recreation department and/or the community entity involved."

Greening Youth Foundation recently was designated as an official program operator for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. Chiles suggests that the Atlanta Youth Corps, will be considered part of this initiative. 

With 350 parks, green spaces and community centers, the city of Atlanta is poised to benefit from the deployment of young people in a citywide conservation corps—particularly considering the city’s high unemployment rate for Black youth. Because of budget shortfalls and a growing population, the city has a difficult time maintaining all of its green spaces and rec centers.

“This program is a perfect culmination of what our organization is good at and what the City of Atlanta needs: workforce development for youth in the area of conservation and outsourced greenspace and park management,” Angelou Ezeilo, founder and CEO of Greening Youth Foundation, told ABS. “I am thrilled that GYF will be leading such an exciting initiative.  Our team looks forward to working with the City of Atlanta to make this program an overwhelming success.”

Boiler Plate: 
The Greening Youth Foundation, a member of The Corps Network, with several partners has launched a new program called the Atlanta Youth Corps. Nick Chiles of the Atlanta BlackStar writes that the new Corps program will help plant gardens around several Atlanta fire stations as one of their first projects.

The Corps Network Applauds the Release of the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal

California Conservation Corps Corpsmembers work in Kings Canyon National Park.
 

The Corps Network Praises American Eagle Outfitters for Million Dollar Commitment to Support 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

Secretary Sally Jewell and American Eagle Outfitters Vice President Helga Ying (left of Jewell),  joined with Corpsmembers for a photo underneath one of FDR's famous quotes at his Memorial.

48 Members of The Corps Network Among First Group of Officially Recognized 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Programs

 

Sally Jewell Meets New Jersey Youth Corps Members, Announces New Hurricane Sandy Restoration Grants, and Promotes Emphasis on Youth in Major Speech

Sally Jewell puts on New Jersey Youth Corps attire.

Written by the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipburg with additional reporting from The Corps Network

Last week, New Jersey Youth Corps programs from Camden and Phillipsburg, by invitation of the Secretary of the Interior, attended a press event at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Galloway Twp, NJ. On behalf of President Obama, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined Interior and local officials to announce that $162 million will be invested in 45 restoration and research projects that will better protect Atlantic Coast communities from future powerful storms, by restoring marshes, wetlands and beaches, rebuilding shorelines, and researching the impacts and modeling mitigation of storm surge impacts.

Using the dramatic backdrop of Atlantic City as a stark contrast to the some 40,000 acres of wildlife habitat, Secretary Jewell stressed the importance of preserving our natural treasures, preparing for and building resiliency against future storms as well as developing projects with strong youth components. After her press conference, the Secretary had a private meet & greet with Corpsmembers (US Fish & Wildlife Director Daniel Ashe and Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ12th) also participated) They thanked the Youth Corps for all their efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, encouraged the Corpmembers to pursue careers in the environmental field and to continue their great work all throughout the state.

Earlier this week, Mary Ellen Ardouny of The Corps Network attended an additional event in Alexandria, Virginia where Sally Jewell further promoted the restoration projects at the National Park Service managed Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. In all, $162 million for 45 projects were authorized (list here). They also announced that the Department would issue a Request for Proposals for an additional $100 million in grant funding under the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program. We look forward to keeping you updated on our progress toward getting Youth Corps to work on these types of projects.

In a major policy speech today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Secretary Jewell also outlined a major emphasis on connecting youth to public lands through a new effort in 50 cities, through K-12 education in “outdoor classrooms”, through volunteerism, and through training and employment opportunities like the 21st Century Conservation Corps (click here to watch the segment of the speech about youth). Further details were not immediately available, but we are glad to hear that Secretary Jewell remains committed to connecting youth to public lands!

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