Civic Works and The Corps Network Join Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell for 50 Cities Initiative Launch

Civic Works Corpsmembers and Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network, with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Photo courtesy of DOI.

On Tuesday, June 2nd, Baltimore officially became the 11th city to join the Department of the Interior’s 50 Cities Initiative. Staff from The Corps Network as well as representatives from Civic Works, Baltimore’s Conservation Corps, attended an event at Middle Branch Park along the Patapsco River where Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell made the announcement. Also in attendance at the event were Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, White House Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes, the YMCA and several other local organizations.

The 50 Cities initiative is an effort to build coalitions in 50 cities across the country to put into action the Department of the Interior’s broader youth initiative, which is focused on enhancing and expanding outdoor recreational, educational, volunteer and career opportunities on public lands for millions of youth and veterans.

In each of the 50 cities participating in the initiative, The Corps Network is working with member Corps to place an AmeriCorps member at the local YMCA. The Corpsmember will assist a Community Coordinator in developing and leading a coalition of local organizations that can inspire young people to play, learn, serve, and work on public lands.

Twenty-six of the 50 cities will be announced this year. The 11 that have already been announced include New York City, Atlanta, Miami, the Twin Cities, Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Denver, the District of Columbia, and Baltimore. Twenty-four cities will be announced in 2016.

Over the next four years, the goals of the youth initiative (Play, Learn, Serve and Work) include engaging over 10 million young people in outdoor play in 50 key cities; providing outdoor educational opportunities to at least 10 million K-12 students; engaging 1 million volunteers annually in volunteer activities on public lands; and developing 100,000 work or training opportunities on America’s public lands.

Boiler Plate: 
On Tuesday, June 2nd, Baltimore officially became the 11th city to join the Department of the Interior’s 50 Cities Initiative. Staff from The Corps Network as well as representatives from Civic Works, Baltimore’s Conservation Corps, attended an event at Middle Branch Park along the Patapsco River where Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell made the announcement. Also in attendance at the event were Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, White House Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes, the YMCA and several other local organizations.

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

Secretary Sally Jewell Visits Northwest Youth Corps as Part of National Park Week




Last weekend, in recognition of National Park Week, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell visited Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. She also met with Corpsmembers and staff from Northwest Youth Corps. Read about it here.


Written by Amelia Templeton
OPB - Oregon Public Broadcast

Secretary of Interior Jewell Sees Signs of Drought at Crater Lake

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell visited Crater Lake National Park this weekend, celebrating National Park Week.

Jewell went snowshoeing at the crater rim with students from the Network Charter School in Eugene. Jewell said she was impressed at how passionate the Eugene students were about conservation.

"They were terrific. I mean really poetic. Not just talking about National Parks, but talking about our lands, and how we use our lands and need to be more thoughtful about things we extract as opposed to conservation," she said.

Jewell also met with a Northwest Youth Corps work crew. She said she was struck by the signs of climate change and drought she saw in the park. Read more

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.

Photos, Press, Highlights, and Video from the White House Champions of Change Conservation Event

Earlier this week as we announced, both Anthony "Chako" Ciocco of Southwest Conservation Corps and Jon Brito of Kupu were honored by the White House for "engaging the next generation of conservation leaders."

Numerous staff members from The Corps Network were honored to attend the event on Tuesday, and watch Chako and Jon represent us and the Corps Movement so well!

Secretary Jewell Makes Big Show of Support at Event, and Through Secretarial Order

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell served as the keynote speaker for the event, and highlighted each of the fourteen honorees' accomplishments. She quoted each of the honorees, and even ended her remarks with a quote from a forthcoming blog post written by Chako, to soon be published by the White House! (See video at time mark of 34 minutes and 35 seconds). She also announced that she would soon issue a Secretarial order for her youth initiative, which among other features formalizes the continuing implementation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. A press release about the order was released earlier today. We believe this is a significant development and thank the Secretary for her support!

Other Representatives also Highlight Importance of Youth in Conservation and 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

The event also featured high-ranking officials from numerous other agencies and the White House, including White House Counselor John Podesta, Department of Interior Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh, EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, USDA Deputy Under Secretary Arthur Blazer (pictured), and Acting Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality Michael Boots. Everyone was emphatic in their support of getting youth involved in conservation, and that the 14 "Champions of Change" were excellent role models for showcasing methods and strategies for involving youth in a variety of conservation efforts. The honorees were evenly split into two moderated panels, where they introduced themselves and answered questions from the moderators, from Twitter, and from the live audience. A video of the first hour of the event has already been posted on Youtube. In total it was a three hour event, so we are still waiting for the next video which should feature Chako and Jon's panel.

Additional Highlights Feature a Trip to Meet Wendy Spencer at the Corporation for National & Community Service, a mural tour at the Department of Interior that concluded with a stop in Secretary Jewell's Office

Both Jon and Chako were invited to the offices of AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) following the event. They were joined by Dr. Benjamin Blonder and Andy Hart, two other "Champions" who each had an AmeriCorps connection. CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer took a few moments to meet each of the honorees and take a photo with them. All of the champions also filmed quick videos with AmeriCorps staff.

Later in the afternoon, the Champions of Change were invited to take a tour of the Department of Interior, and see many of its fantastic and historic murals. Jon and Chako stopped to pose in front of one mural that depicted the Civilian Conservation Corps. The honorees gradually made their way to Secretary Jewell's office, where she again greeted the Champions and took more photos.

Party On Champions

But the fun didn't end there. The champions were invited by The Wilderness Society to their Ansel Adams Gallery to join a reception in honor of Bill Hodge, one of the Champions who was honored as a representative of the Wilderness Society's Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) program. An additional event was organized by our friends with the Outdoors Alliance for Kids.  

Praise from Members of Congress for Chako and Jon

“The White House Champions of Change award is a fitting recognition of Anthony’s environmental stewardship and leadership. He works tirelessly to improve outdoor access on the Navajo Nation,” Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet said. “In true Colorado fashion, Anthony, and the Southwest Conservation Corps, are dedicated to furthering opportunities for all of us to get outside and appreciate the outdoors, while also teaching countless young people the importance of being good stewards of our natural resources.” 

“Today at the White House, a local Moloka`i leader is being honored for his work to preserve our precious island environment and Native Hawaiian cultural practices. Jon has restored many endangered native Hawai`i species and habitats through his work with AmeriCorps and Kupu’s Hawai`i Youth Conservation Corps. I’m so proud of Jon and all that he has done to improve his community and the environment around him, while setting a great example for our keiki to follow. Congratulations, Jon, for this well-deserved honor! Aloha!” — U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard

 

Press

* We will continue adding to this list as new stories are posted and released.

Boiler Plate: 
Earlier this week as we announced, both Anthony "Chako" Ciocco of Southwest Conservation Corps and Jon Brito of Kupu were honored by the White House for "engaging the next generation of conservation leaders." Read about the highlights and see photos from Jon and Chako's big day!

Secretary Jewell Visits Los Angeles to Promote Connecting Urban Youth to the Great Outdoors, Meets with LA Conservation Corps



Watch a video about Secretary Jewell's Youth Initiative

 

Click here to see photos of Secretary Jewell with LACC

Source: Press Release, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

This week, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to announce Los Angeles has been selected as one of eight pilot cities under the Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative to connect urban youth with the great outdoors.  The announcement comes on the heels of President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget request last week, which supports the Department's youth initiative to inspire millions of young people to play, learn, serve and work outdoors through increased investments in the Department’s youth programs.

“As children become increasingly disconnected with nature, it is critical for the health of our economy and our public lands that we work to establish meaningful and deep connections between young people from every background and every community to the great outdoors,” said Secretary Jewell. “Creating opportunities for urban young people to get outdoors not only supports healthy lifestyles but it also helps spark a passion to be good stewards of nature that will last a lifetime.”

“Giving city kids access to outdoor experiences and exercise will undoubtedly make a lasting impact, and so I am excited that L.A. is partnering with the Department of the Interior through the Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Connecting L.A.'s youth with nature will enrich their lives, strengthen our communities, and increase our city's health.”



 

President Obama’s budget released last week proposes $50.6 million for Interior youth programs, which represents a $13.6 million (or 37 percent) increase from 2014. Included in the budget is an increase of $2.5 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative, $8 million to expand opportunities for youth education and employment across the National Park Service and an additional $1 million in the Bureau of Indian Affairs for youth programs.

Prior to the announcement, students from Franklin High School led Jewell and Garcetti on a hike of the LA River and through Los Angeles State Historic Park where they discussed how the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are partnering with local organizations to create opportunities to help urban students and families make connections with America’s federal, state and local public lands.

Thanks to a partnership with the Friends of the LA River, a mobile visitor and education center will soon bring the Los Angeles River to life for young people who might otherwise not establish a connection with nature.  A modified RV, the River Rover, will provide educational opportunities for families and children in one of the most diverse and densely populated regions of the country.

“Los Angeles is a national leader at engaging urban youth in nature and we hope what is happening here can serve as a model for other cities across the country,” said Jewell. “The partnership we have formed will allow us to bring young people to the river and the river to young people.” 

The River Rover, to be completed in April, will house interactive exhibits, including an interactive model of the LA River watershed. It is one of eight pilot projects sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service across the country. Examples of other projects include working with schools in New Haven, CT, to create a network of wildlife-friendly habitat oases and habitat improvements in municipal parks, schoolyards, and vacant lots to establishing nature-learning and engagement opportunities in urban neighborhoods in Chicago.

In an attempt to help bridge the growing disconnect between young people and the great outdoors, Secretary Jewell last October launched an ambitious youth initiative to inspire millions of young people to play, learn, serve and work outdoors. The goals of the youth initiative include:

Play: Interior will develop or enhance outdoor recreation partnerships in a total of 50 cities over four years to create new, systemic opportunities for outdoor play for more than 10 million young people.

Learn: Provide educational opportunities to at least 10 million of the nation’s K-12 student population annually. In addition to welcoming students into nature’s classroom, we are developing and strengthening new online education resources, to reach more students.

Serve: Engage 1 million volunteers annually on public lands, effectively tripling the numbers we have now. We know that many more people are interested in volunteering at national parks, wildlife refuges and public lands, but there are often insufficient staff resources to coordinate them. In order to achieve the volunteer goal, we will place a renewed emphasis on volunteer coordination and management.

Work: To develop the next generation of lifelong conservation stewards and ensure our own skilled and diverse workforce pipeline, Interior will provide 100,000 work & training opportunities to young people within our bureaus and through public-private partnerships. As part of this effort, we aim to raise an additional $20 million to support the youth work and training opportunities.

Los Angeles is also one of 18 pilots for the Urban Waters Federal Partnership – a coalition of 13 federal agencies working to revitalize urban waterfronts and open spaces in cities, leading to healthier and more prosperous communities all over the country.

Earth Conservation Corps featured in NPR piece about Sally Jewell's 21CSC efforts


On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that American Eagle Outfitters has committed $1 million towards the goal of raising 20 million private sector dollars for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. Corpsmembers from programs  such as Earth Conservation Corps and Montgomery County Conservation Corps attended the announcement at the FDR memorial in Washington, DC.

 

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.

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!

[Video] Sally Jewell Talks about 21st Century Conservation Service Corps in Live Chat

Last week as part of of her livechat in conjunction with National Public Lands Day, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell spent several minutes responding to a question about the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. She noted how members of the The Corps Network and SCA would play a role, but also talked about how given modern constraints and circumstances, the program would not have the same scope as the original CCC in terms of numbers.

Later on (at the 27:25 minute mark), Secretary Jewell also talked about making the workforce of Interior agencies more diverse, and how youth hires would eventually play a big role in this change once budgets allowed for more growth in staff at national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges. 

You can watch the video by clicking on the photo above or by clicking here.

Boiler Plate: 
Last week as part of of her livechat in conjunction with National Public Lands Day, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell spent several minutes responding to a question about the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps.

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