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Photo by Rolf Hagberg

The Conservation Corps provides meaningful work for young people in managing natural resources, conserving energy, responding to disasters and leading volunteers. Not only do we provide training in resource management, safety, job-readiness and technical skills, we help young people develop personal responsibility, a strong work ethic and greater awareness of environmental stewardship.

Letter from Len This year, we rebranded. Minnesota Conservation Corps (MCC) became Conservation Corps Minnesota, aligned with the new Conservation Corps Iowa program we launched in January 2009. The Conservation Corps name, brand and logo speak to who we are and what we do. Our symbol, a seedling in the hand — of a corpsmember, a volunteer, a parent, a conservationist, a changed life — represents growth and the ideals of stewardship and service that we are planting. Conservation Corps Minnesota and Conservation Corps Iowa continue the legacy of the Conservation Corps in both states. Our roots trace back to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and the Youth Conservation Corps and the Young Adult Conservation Corps of the 1970s. When federal funding for these programs was eliminated, the State of Minnesota launched Minnesota Conservation Corps in the Minnesota DNR. The nonprofit Friends of the Minnesota Conservation Corps assumed operation of MCC in 2003. In 2010, our legal name will change from Friends of the Minnesota Conservation Corps to simply Conservation Corps. We will do business as Conservation Corps Minnesota and Conservation Corps Iowa in the respective states and use a combined state name for all activities that cross state borders. Through our evolution of names and logos, Conservation Corps has always defined us. While our presence continues to grow in Minnesota and surrounding states, our values remain the same — to restore natural resources, conserve energy, respond to emergencies and change the lives of young people.

Mission and initiatives The Conservation Corps provides hands-on environmental stewardship and service-learning opportunities to youth and young adults while accomplishing conservation, natural resource management and emergency response work. Our goals are to help young people from diverse backgrounds become more connected to the environment, engaged in conservation, involved in the community and prepared for future employment. We realize our mission and accomplish our goals through initiatives for youth and young adults: AmeriCorps opportunities for young adults, ages 18-25, including 10-month Field Crew operations in northern, central and southern Minnesota and central Iowa that engage young adults in natural resource, renewable energy and emergency response work from February to December. Home Energy Squads work year-round installing energy-saving measures such as weather-stripping and programmable thermostats in Twin Cities homes. Seasonal Trail Crews, working in the Superior National Forest, spike camp for four- to eight-day stretches while they improve backcountry trails. AmeriCorps young adults are also Youth Leaders for two programs that engage teens, ages 15 to 18, in outdoor service-learning: Conservation Corps Minnesota’s residential Summer Youth Program unplugs teenagers from TVs, iPods and other modern intrusions for eight weeks over the summer. Youth begin at our St. Croix State Park base camp then spike camp through the region, working in crews of six youth and two AmeriCorps leaders each, as they restore natural resources. Youth Outdoors engages Saint Paul teens during the school year in educational activities and service-learning projects afterschool and on Saturdays, 12 hours per week. Youth earn a stipend while revitalizing local neighborhoods and leading volunteers.


Len Price Executive Director Dear friends, 2009 has ushered in major changes for conservation corps nationwide. To address high unemployment rates among young people, AmeriCorps programs have been charged with engaging more young adults in meaningful conservation service. For their contribution, AmeriCorps members are rewarded with job skills, a living stipend and an education award to help pay college and student loan expenses. On the local level, some of our programs’ changes and initiatives this past year included: · We rebranded our organization. MCC is now Conservation Corps Minnesota consistent with the new program we launched last year in Ames, Iowa. Conservation Corps Iowa is funded by AmeriCorps and Iowa project partners to give more young adults hands-on environmental stewardship and service-learning opportunities. · We upgraded our logo and website to better represent our work in natural resource restoration, energy conservation, and engaging young people in meaningful service that inspires civic engagement, leadership and environmental stewardship. · We launched energy initiatives, including Home Energy Squads that have installed programmable thermostats, CFL light bulbs, power strips, low-flow shower heads, door weather stripping, water-heater blankets and kitchen-sink aerators in hundreds of Twin Cities homes. Northern Minnesota corpsmembers have assisted the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance in Pine River, Minn. with installing solar air heat systems that reduce heat costs in low-income households by 15 to 30 percent. · Youth Outdoors was officially implemented following the afterschool program’s fall 2008 pilot. Each semester, 24 young people from low-income households engage in revitalizing their local neighborhoods, leading volunteers and learning about environmental science and technology. · With federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, we put 39 corpsmembers to work last summer improving hiking, cross-country skiing, ATV and snowmobile trails in the Superior National Forest. · We have initiated water quality and parks and trails improvement projects with the Minnesota DNR, Board of Water and Soil Resources and outdoor groups, made possible by the Clean Water and Outdoor Heritage Legacy Fund. These partnerships will help protect, enhance and restore natural resources across the state. Through all the changes, we remain true and committed to our mission. More than 90 percent of the revenue we receive goes directly to support our programs. We will continue to restore resources and change the lives of young people … reaching as far as our resources allow. Thank you, on behalf of our board and staff, to all who have helped us grow and expand our service to the broader community.

Living and working in the backcountry Trail work deepened Mary Hammes’ connection to nature “I jumped at the chance to work in Superior National Forest,” says Mary Hammes. “It’s a place I’ve enjoyed since being a little girl.” In the summer 2009, Mary was one of seven AmeriCorps trail crew leaders working in the Superior National Forest, funded through the federal Recovery Act. Diligent corpsmembers camped on the trail and worked in all conditions. Crews spent the summer improving hiking, portage, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ATV and interpretive trails. “Some of these trails had needed maintenance for years, sometimes decades,” says Ashley Peters, field assistant. Photo by Rolf Hagberg

The Pow Wow Trail near Isabella, Minn. was especially “notorious for being difficult to navigate,” Mary says. “We had people come up to us while we were working who had been lost. Sometimes we would get lost ourselves. We put between 10 to 15 cairns (directional rocks) up to make sure it was safe for people and more usable.”

In the summer 2009, 39 Conservation Corps crew members improved trails in Superior National Forest.

Trail crews worked 25,458 hours to clear and maintain 210 miles of trail, remove 829 trees and trail obstructions, install 163 water bars, and complete 3,711 feet of tread work. “We did a lot of great work in those 200 miles,” says Brooke Tapp, lead field assistant. “People were so appreciative and impressed.” The crews worked primarily in the backcountry, which required camping on the trail. “It’s very intense, but not as hard as one might think,” Mary says. “It’s encouraged me to think in a more complex way about the relationship between humans and their natural world.” “We would have a five gallon jug of water for five people and that would last us a day or so. … The spike trips gave me a very different view of what I need to live day to day and be happy.”

Photo by Rolf Hagberg

The training gave her work skills she had not expected. “I think learning chainsaw use and maintenance has increased my confidence in my ability to learn, use and fix tools. Not something I pictured myself doing a year ago but very rewarding. Using saws is a great way to learn small engine mechanics for women who might not otherwise be exposed to such a thing.”

Mary Hammes

Mary is returning to Conservation Corps Minnesota as a year-round AmeriCorps field crew leader in 2010. “Regardless of what job I end up working in,” Mary says skills she gained in the Corps, “are going to benefit me.” The experience also deepened her “strong sense of connectedness to the Minnesota wilderness. The beauty of the area surrounding Lake Superior is incomparable.”

Young adult participant “Working outdoors can be extremely challenging, but that’s why it’s so rewarding. The challenges have turned into lessons. I don’t see myself as an isolated individual anymore. National service is my investment in the community and the country, and in that way, I’ve become a shareholder in the future of our public lands.” Ashley Peters, trails crew field assistant


Changing the world One neighborhood at a time

Last fall, Bilisummaa Sheckissa and fellow crew members walked though their local neighborhoods to identify challenges in need of solutions. Every semester, youth enrolled in Conservation Corps Minnesota’s afterschool program, Youth Outdoors, design and lead projects that will improve their communities. Biliy’s crew saw people living outdoors, and they were concerned the homeless would need warm clothes for winter. So the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Youth Outdoors teens spent the day sewing felt hats and mittens, collecting food and clothing, and preparing a Thanksgiving meal for the less fortunate. “This is very important for teenagers. It changes the way you see the world and other people,” Biliy says. “You see how one small thing can help … how everything is connected.” Youth Outdoors teaches disadvantaged young people to be engaged citizens and environmental stewards. They clean up parks, lead recycling efforts, install rain gardens and plant native trees and perennials to prevent pollutants from running into lakes and streams. About 75 percent of program time is spent in hands-on service-learning projects, including Saturday projects where youth lead volunteers in revitalizing neighborhoods. The remaining 25 percent is spent in educational activities focused on science and technology, ecology and job-related topics such as resume writing, interviewing and financial management. The highlight is a major service project each semester, designed by youth. AmeriCorps leaders facilitate and support, but youth plan and execute the project. “The first thing we do is take a walk around the community to see how nature interacts with people and how we can better the neighborhood and our environment,” says Biliy, who has helped design two projects. After visiting a wildlife rehab center, they learned that squirrels benefit neighborhoods, even though they can cause problems when they nest in attics and basements. “Squirrels actually plant trees when they deposit nuts.” The youth voted and decided to build 20 squirrel boxes. “We pretty much led the whole thing,” Biliy says. “The crew leaders just showed us how to use the tools and we did everything else.” Youth solicited a lumber donation, made flyers to recruit volunteers and educate the public, and showed community members how to build boxes. Biliy says he plans to go to college and pursue an environmental or computer-related career. “My interest in environmental studies came from this program,” he says. The best of Youth Outdoors is both “the learning experience and the work experience. … I met new and different people. learned a lot about nature.”

Biliy Sheckissa sews felt mittens for homeless people in his neighborhood as part of his Youth Outdoors service project.

Volunteers Volunteers played an important role in many restoration projects last year. For example, volunteers helped corpsmembers … · Clean up parks in low-income Saint Paul neighborhoods · Construct boardwalks along the North Country Hiking Trail · Control erosion by planting native vegetation in Hay Lake · Restore native habitats at Carpenter’s St. Croix Valley Nature Center · Install trail structures along the Superior Hiking Trail in Two Harbors · Conduct a “buckthorn bust” and plant trees in Como Park · Construct and plant rain gardens in several neighborhood parks · Stabilize streambanks in Jackson · Clean up nature trails in Bagley Nature Area in Duluth · Seed native prairies at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary and Prospect Park · Lead families in geocaching at Fort Snelling State Park · Improve snowmobile trail in Moose Lake · Restore lakeshore by planting more than 13,000 natives in Detroit Lakes · Clean up flood-deposited debris along the Mississippi including old tires and appliances Thank you to all our volunteers for your service!

2009 volunteer engagement Youth programs — 603 volunteers led by youth and youth leaders Saturday park cleanups, habitat restoration, invasive species removal, community outreach AmeriCorps young adult programs — 793 volunteers led by corpsmembers Trail maintenance & improvement, habitat restoration 492 Adopt-a-River volunteer cleanup events 301 Total Conservation Corps volunteers 1,396 Total volunteer hours 4,902


Discovering diversity

Summer experience broadened teenager’s cultural understanding Quenyse Fields joined the Conservation Corps’ Summer Youth Program to work, earn money and have fun. She did not expect to discover her future path. “I thought it was a great opportunity … to get away from home and meet new people,” while learning about the outdoors and camping, Quenyse says.

Quenyse Fields

During her summer 2009 experience, she was opened to diverse cultures, particularly Deaf culture, as she worked with youth from various backgrounds. “I tried to be more understanding, and I’ve learned to be more patient — definitely,” Quenyse says. “After living with the same people, you have to learn how to deal with the little things you’re not use to.”

Before long, Quenyse began thinking about her life after the Corps. “Already, I have fallen in love with signing,” she says. “Before, I really didn’t know anything about it. But now I am in an ASL (American Sign Language) class at school and I’m thinking about being an interpreter.” Quenyse admits that the summer was challenging, but inspiring, and changed her life. “I’m definitely more confident,” she says. “I’m able to start leading a group if no one else is willing to step up to the plate. I’m not as hesitant as before.” Unkind comments now “just roll of my shoulder,” Quenyse says. “I have this new self-empowered feeling that I don’t need their acceptance. Over the summer, I was accepted by almost 100 people. It’s a great feeling.” Quenyse is more involved in her community and spreading what she learned from the Corps. “I try to volunteer as much as I can, and now that I know what I enjoy doing ... it is much easier to find volunteer opportunities,” she says. “I can now help make people conscious about the Deaf culture, even as I’m learning it.”

Youth parent “I am seeing my son becoming a confident young man. … The exposure to diversity, to the Deaf culture, to team work, to learning simple self responsibility and work ethic are priceless for him. This has been a life changing event for Jeff.” Paul Randall, parent (midway through summer program)

Emergency response Crews hold back Red’s mighty waters

As Red River floodwaters poured through Moorhead and Fargo in March 2009, Conservation Corps crews worked furiously to protect parks, schools and neighborhoods. Along with DNR park rangers, young adult corpsmembers sandbagged to protect camping and picnic areas at Buffalo River State Park near Moorhead. “It was a race to keep up with the water level,” says Alicia Sutherland, crew leader. “We were literally holding water back with tarps as the rain poured on us.” “There were huge ice chunks jamming the river flow; it looked like the Antarctic. Once the ice melted and moved, the river dropped like 8 feet in two minutes. It was incredible.” The crew then sandbagged on the Concordia College campus and in residential areas. “It was nice to work side by side with the residents. They were so thankful for our help,” Sutherland says.

After floodwaters poured through Moorhead area in March 2009, Conservation Corps crews worked long days sandbagging and operating water pumps along dikes.

Later that month, other crews were deployed to Moorhead and, along with DNR staff, operated seven water pumps along the dikes. One crew worked overnight until 7 a.m.; the other took the day shift, working until 8 p.m. each evening. For an entire week, they worked 14-hour shifts. “This is why I joined,” Sutherland says. “I am serving my country on a local level. People need help and we are there to help them. It is nice knowing your work makes a difference.”


Restoration by fire

Southern Minnesota crews restore native prairies and bluffland with prescribed burns

Fire has always been the friend of tall grass prairies ― since long before soils were tilled. By clearing grasslands of decomposing plants, weeds and woody cover, fires allow native grasses, wildflowers and fruit-bearing shrubs to thrive. Last year, Conservation Corps field crews in southern Minnesota restored almost 3,500 acres of prairie and bluffland with prescribed burns. Doug Ekstrom, southern district manager, has a decade of burn experience and assistant manager Dustin Looman is a certified “burn boss” who can lead corpsmembers in conducting safe, controlled burns. Burns are conducted in early spring to suppress “cool season” vegetation such as bromegrass and snakeweed, which “germinate earlier than native plant species,” Doug says. Burning promotes “germination of warm season grasses and stunts the growth of less desirable species. If conditions are right, the (native) grasses will take over.”

“In grasslands that haven’t been burned for years, there is so much ground litter that upland nesting birds find it difficult to raise their broods,” Doug says. “The goal of burning is to reinvigorate stands of native species and enhance nesting areas.” Conducting a burn is serious work that requires precision. “There are so many factors ― wind direction, wind speed, humidity, lay of the land, and fuel type (the dead plant material and brush that determine how vigorously a fire will burn),” Doug says. Conservation Corps crew leaders and members must attend a week-long fire behavior class. “All corpsmembers are certified to be on burns,” led by organizations that have burn bosses or by the Conservation Corps’ own Dustin Looman. Burns inhibit the growth of less desirable woody cover, such as buckthorn, and the seeds they drop. Small native trees burn as well, which is necessary so grasses and wildflowers are not shaded out. Some plants were designed by nature to be restored by fire. Crews have conducted burns in most southern Minnesota state parks, such as Camden, Split Rock Creek, Kilen Woods, Blue Mounds, Lac qui Parle, Myre-Big Island, Rice Lake and Beaver Creek. They also used fire to clear non-native woody cover from blufflands in the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area, Great River Bluffs State Park and other areas to protect habitat for threatened timber rattlesnakes and endangered Karner blue butterflies. In 2010, the Conservation Corps is expanding southern Minnesota crews based in Rochester, Mankato, Windom and Marshall, and will conduct burns throughout southern and west central Minnesota. Northern crews also conduct burns in grassland areas, but in the spring they are more often suppressing wildfires in northern forests. While an out-of-control wildfire can be dangerous and destructive, a controlled fire is nature’s friend.


Photo by Rolf Hagberg

Beside weeds, ground litter build up from decaying plants “makes it tough for native grasses to re-grow the next year. By burning off the previous year’s litter, it exposes the soil,” and puts nutrients back in the ground.

Last year, Conservation Corps crews conducted prescribed burns on almost 3,500 acres in southern Minnesota to restore prairie and blufflands.

Real results Conservation Corps changes young people’s lives and prepares them for successful careers After serving in Youth Programs* participants reported … 85% can better work on teams 87% have a stronger work ethic 91% are more thorough and accurate in their work 91% better understand how citizens impact community 93% better understand Deaf culture 93% are more comfortable with others different from themselves 84% are more physically fit 55% reported it was their first job 97% reported it was a quality learning experience *Results of 107 youth participants who responded to a post-service survey in 2009.

After serving 10-months in AmeriCorps field crews* participants reported … 85% can better work on teams 93% have gained or improved technical skills 93% have developed a stronger work ethic 89% have developed better problem-solving skills 95% are more aware of environmental issues in their community 93% registered to vote 92% are proud of the work their crew accomplished 91% feel better prepared for search and apply to their next jobs 41% are serving another term in the Conservation Corps *Results of 87 young adult participants who responded to a post-service survey after the February – December 2009 program

Saving energy, employing the sun Conservation Corps launches energy initiatives

Home Energy Squads Conservation Corps Minnesota is energized. In August 2009, the Corps partnered with Neighborhood Energy Connection to launch a home-energy conservation program. Two-person Home Energy Squads have installed compact fluorescent light bulbs, exterior-door weather stripping, programmable thermostats, efficient showerheads, water-heater insulation blankets and faucet aerators. By the end of 2009, in less than five months, “our squads installed energy measures in 387 homes that will save more than $48,000 on homeowners’ energy bills every year,” says Katie Brettingen who heads Conservation Corps’ energy program. By the end of 2010, 20 corpsmembers will be enrolled in energy squads and complete measures in more than 2,000 homes. Besides reducing electricity and natural gas use, the measures reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and conserve resources. Home Energy Squad members receive energy conservation, auditing and management training, which prepares them for green industry jobs. NEC has provided custom energy consultations and conservation services for 24 years and serves thousands of homes annually. Solar Installations Conservation Corps Minnesota members are also volunteering with the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) in Pine River, Minn. to address energy poverty in rural areas. Corpsmembers have helped assemble and install solar air heat systems in several low-income homes that will reduce heat-related energy use by 15 to 30 percent. Each system also reduces carbon dioxide emissions by an average 1,300 pounds, and up to 4,400 pounds if electricity is being replaced. Nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions are also reduced In future years, Conservation Corps Minnesota intends to train more corpsmembers in solar thermal technologies, and hands-on assembly and installation of solar air heat systems.

At right: Conservation Corps members install a solar air heat system for a low-income household in central Minnesota.


Keeping Iowa beautiful In July 2009, a Conservation Corps Iowa crew and 53 community volunteers scraped, primed and painted to give West Union, Iowa’s historic downtown a facelift. Crews worked 400 hours to rehab the exterior of four buildings. “It was very rewarding to see how the work we were doing was making a difference — right then and there,” says Rose Danaher, Conservation Corps Iowa crew member. “The majority of the work we did throughout the year was in remote natural areas and out of the public eye. In West Union, we were right in the middle of town which offered us a lot more interaction with the public.” The Iowa Department of Economic Development funded the renovation as part of the Keep Iowa Beautiful Project. Paint was donated by family-owned Diamond Vogel Paint. Crews camped at the county fairgrounds, and local restaurants provided breakfast and lunch. Each evening, a community member invited the crew to their home for dinner. “I couldn’t believe how generous and appreciative everyone was,” Danaher says. Troy Johansen, owner of Tap’t Out restaurant, provided transporation and ladders as well as meals. “He really went out of his way to make sure we had all of the help and equipment that we needed ... and he’s a great cook.” Danaher says some of the rewards for their service came weeks after the project was finished. “Almost 200 miles away from West Union, I was approached by two people I had run into while working on the project. Both of them had wonderful things to say about our efforts and it was very rewarding to know that the work we did there is still appreciated.”

Accomplishments Conservation Corps Iowa 2009 accomplishment highlights Debris & dump site cleanup ― 400 pounds Erosion control ― 1,900 sq. feet Fence Installation ― 13,750 feet GIS/GPS data & mapping ― 200 hours Invasive species management ― 196 acres Motorized trail improvement ― 3,160 feet Non-motorized trail improvement ― 28,900 feet Nursery activities ― 782 hours Planting ― 21,900 trees and plants Prairie seed collection ― 90 hours Prescribed burning ― 232 acres Rain garden installation & maintenance ― 25 sq. feet Surveys & data collection ― 680 hours Vegetation removal ― 89 acres

Conservation Corps Iowa 2009 leadership development 10 young adults enrolled in AmeriCorps field crews 700 hours of corpsmembers technical skills training 1,086 hours of personal development training

Iowa Project Partners Federal AmeriCorps National Park Service US Fish and Wildlife Service State Iowa DNR Iowa Department of Economic Development

Conservation Corps Iowa crews restored the exterior of four historic buildings in downtown West Union as part of the “Keep Iowa Beautiful” project. Pictured above is Jessica Renley; below is Rose Danahee.

Iowa financial statement Calendar year 2009 Iowa Support and Revenue




Iowa partners (fee-for-service)


Total Iowa revenue


Iowa program expenses


Management & general


Total expenses


Local Government Blackhawk County Conservation Board Bremer County Conservation Board City of Ames City of Des Moines City of Iowa City Greene County Conservation Board Muscatine SWCD Story County Conservation Board Woodbury County Conservation Board Nonprofit Indian Creek Nature Center Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation Johnson County Heritage Trust Loess Hills Preservation Society Mt. Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group Pathfinders Resources Conservation an Development

Photo by Rolf Hagberg

Photo by Rolf Hagberg

Minnesota financial statement Calendar year 2009

Accomplishments Conservation Corps Minnesota 2009 accomplishment highlights

Minnesota Support and Revenue AmeriCorps Grants and contributions Program support ARRA funds DEED Other income Received Calendar Year 2009

$506,400 $104,370 $1,985,292 $585,903 $10,000 $6,991 $3,198,956

Released from restrictions: Deaf and hard-of-hearing state grant Natural Resource Fund State general operating funds Board of Water & Soil Resources Foundation grants Total Revenue Calendar Year 2009

$9,752 $546,073 $465,000 $134,685 $23,056 $4,377,523

Expenses Minnesota programs Management & general Fundraising Total Expenses

$3,667,904 $244,564 $75,540 $3,988,008

Emergency fund


Bridge, boardwalk & step construction — 31,255 feet Campsite establishment/maintenance — 430 sites Construction/carpentry — 3,284 hours Debris & dump site cleanup — 83,097 pounds Energy conservation measures — 387 homes Erosion control — 25,922 sq. feet Fence installation — 15,695 feet Fire suppression — 399 acres Historic building & landmark restoration — 23 structures Invasive species management — 11,758 acres Motorized trail construction — 9.5 miles Motorized trail improvement — 678 miles Non-motorized trail construction — 18 miles Non-motorized trail improvement — 574 miles Plant, wildlife, and trail user surveys — 4,210 surveys Planting - 83,097 trees and plants Prescribed burns — 5,547 acres Rain garden installation/maintenance — 23,175 square feet River obstruction removal — 227 miles Sandbagging for Red River flood response — 1,132 hours Seed collection — 936 hours Seeding — 575, 252 square feet Timber stand improvement — 271 acres Vegetation removal — 12,787 acres Water-quality sampling — 44,880 samples Wildlife structure construction — 790 structures

Conservation Corps Minnesota 2009 leadership development 85 youth participated in the Summer Youth Program 48 youth participated in afterschool Youth Outdoors 39 young adults served in Superior National Forest trail crews 78 young adults served in regional field crews 4 young adults served in Home Energy Squads 34 young adults served as youth leaders Corpsmembers received… 13,254 hours of technical-skills training 9,054 hours of personal development training 6,552 hours of youth education and training


Board members carry the CCC legacy forward

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa Board of Directors John Velin, Chair Former executive director – Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. Joan Peters, Vice Chair Former district commissioner – Three Rivers Park District Robby Callahan Schreiber, 2nd Vice Chair Youth programs director – Science Museum of Minnesota Summer youth program alumnus

Conservation Corps board members are keeping alive the stories of young men who toiled in the Civilian Conservation Corps to feed their families during the Great Depression. Oral historian Barbara Sommer has received three major awards for her book, Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota, and CCC alumnus Monty Dehn was featured in the January 2010 issue of the DNR’s “Minnesota Conservation Volunteer” bimonthly publication. “Forest Builders” by Gwenyth Swain recounts what daily life was like in the CCC — from the 6 a.m. bugle call through long days building forest look-out towers, driving trucks, fighting fires and planting thousands of trees. “Were were building forests,” says Monty, now age 84, who served in 1941.

Mark Skeie, Secretary Founder of Mapping Your Retirement, Inc Former 3M department and project manager Mary Cleary, Treasurer Nonprofit accounting and fiscal management consultant Craig Acomb Chief financial officer – Minnesota Department of Health Former Minnesota Conservation Corps regional and statewide director Monty Dehn

Monty was only 15 when he enrolled in the CCC. Even though the age requirement was 17-25, his parents’ permission slip helped him in. The Little Falls teen was sent to Camp Badoura, located between Nevis and Park Rapids in northern Minnesota. “It was kind of a rude awakening for a 15-year-old kid,” Monty says. “I learned, and I grew up fast.” Like all young corps members, he was paid $30 per month but only allowed to keep $5. The remaining $25 was sent home to help impoverished families. On December 7, 1941, Monty was eating breakfast in Camp Badoura’s mess hall when news came over the radio that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. CCCers went to war, and the Corps was later dissolved. Barbara Sommer has recorded dozens of other stories about young Minnesotans who, like Monte, experienced life in the CCC. Her book, Hard Work and a Good Deal, was published in 2008 by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. A member of the Oral History Association, Barbara has received three major book awards: a Minnesota Book Award, presented by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and City of St. Paul; a Barbara Sommer Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for general nonfiction, presented by the University of Minnesota Duluth Library, Lake Superior Writers and Friends of the Duluth Public Library; and an American Association for State and Local History Award of Merit for leadership in history. Sommer’s book is based on interviews with hundreds of CCC alumni. From 1933 to 1942, more than 77,000 young Minnesotans served in the CCC. Nationwide, about three million men and 8,500 women served. At Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa, we honor their memory and carry forward their legacy. To read the “Forest Builders” article by Gwenyth Swain, go to


Neil Cunningham Outreach coordinator – Minnesota Department of Agriculture Former faculty member – University of Minnesota, Metropolitan State University, Capella University John Degan Attorney – Blue Cross Blue Shield Monty Dehn Civilian Conservation Corps alumnus Rolf Hagberg Owner — Rolf Hagberg Photography Former camp director — Youth Conservation Corps and Young Adult Conservation Corps Minnesota Conservation Corps founding board member and former development director David Hile Retired Hennepin County law enforcement professional Tom Jahnke Former Three Rivers Park District senior manager of forestry and horticulture JerJian Koh Auditor/Supervisor – Boyum & Barenscheer PLLP Holds CPA, CIA and MBA John Lilly Management staff – Minnesota DNR Parks and Recreation Division Mike Nevala Principal environmental scientist – Metropolitan Council Summer Youth Program alumna parent Barbara Sommer Oral historian, investigator, presenter and author for museums and historical research projects Former Carlton County Historical Society director Janet Timmerman Historic site guide — Minnesota State Historical Society Former educator — Center for Rural and Regional Studies, Southwest Minnesota State University Former state advisory board member – DNR Youth Programs

Conservation Corps stakeholders Fiscal Year 2009 donations* Corporate & Foundation Support Athwin Foundation Best Buy Inc. Bremer Bank Enterprise Foundation F. R. Bigelow Foundation Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation David B. Gold Foundation Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation The McNeely Foundation Iron Mining Assn of Minnesota The McKnight Foundation Mitsubishi: Electric America Foundation Pentair Foundation The Saint Paul Foundation Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation SmartWool Advocacy Fund Donors $50 -$149 Gordon Alexander Amy Avery Justin Bakken Bill and Carol Bittner Lisa Cassioppi Mary Cleary Community Shares of Minnesota Patrice Christensen Jeff and Cindy Dalen John Degan Joseph Dolson & Janna Kysilko Dale Finstad Mavis Fisher Warren Gates Eleanor Heaney Brian Hubbard Randall & Robin Johnson Jane Krentz Jer Jian Koh Richard Loe Troy Maggied Carol McElroy Greg Mercil Jon Mowrey Harvey Richart Sarah Rosenthal Eli and Amy Kerber Sagor Ashley Sierra Barbara Sommer John Stelzner Gregory Strock Janet Timmerman Kathy Tingelstad Timothy Trost Wilma West John and Anna Weston Beverly Wolfe

Matching Donors Blue Cross Blue Shield IBM GiveMN Monsanto

*Because our fiscal year has changed from July 1 to June 30 to a calendar year, this report is based on donations made July 1, 2008 December 31, 2009.

Steward Circle ($150 - above) Eric Antonson Jim Antonson Jeremy Bay Patricia Berry Pete Bonk Charissa Brudnak Chris Cialek Bill Cranford Margaret Davis Monty Dehn Nelly Devault Burton and Aubrey Fisher Dan Funk Cindy Green Rolf Hagberg Ralph and Mary Halbert Peter Hark and Mary Jo Cristofaro-Hark Gary Heaser David and Mary Hile Arlen Holter Anthony Indelicato Alyson Johnson Phyllis and Donald Kahn Lorilea Klimek Anna Kniebel Erika Koffel Ellen Larson James Larsen Maplewood Oakdale Lions Club Candice McElroy Austin Miller Minneapolis Riverview Lions Club Michael and Beth Nevala Barbara and Neil Normandin Northstar Chapter 33 John and Elaine Obinger Shari Olsen Joan Peters Len and Stephanie Price Adrian Schottroff Robby Callahan Schreiber Mark and Janet Skeie Allen Smith Gary and Denise Stelzner Cheryl Suelflow Rebecca Wodziak Erik Wrede John Velin Michael Zuniga

Project host “The crew once again outperformed my expectations. They all worked safely, had good attitudes, were professional and were a pleasure to work with.” Chad Prosser National Park Service

Minnesota Project Partners Federal AmeriCorps Camp Ripley Environmental Office National Park Service US Forest Service US Fish and Wildlife Service State Board of Water and Soil Resources Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Minnesota DNR ServeMinnesota Wisconsin DNR Local Government Aitkin County Land Department Anoka Conservation District Anoka County Parks and Recreation Beltrami County Natural Resource Management Beltrami County SWCD Capitol Region Watershed District Carlton County Land Department Carlton County SWCD Cass County Land Department Chisago County Environmental Services Chisago SWCD City of Baxter City of Chanhassen City of Duluth City of Jackson City of Maplewood City of North St. Paul City of Rochester City of Roseville City of St. Paul Clearwater County Environmental Services Clearwater River Watershed District Clearwater SWCD Cook County Highway Department Cook County SWCD Cottonwood County SWCD Chisago SWCD Crooked Creek Watershed District Crow Wing SWCD East Ottertail SWCD Filmore SWCD Grand Portage Reservation Itasca County Itasca SWCD Kanabec SWCD Lake of the Woods SWCD Lower Mississippi River Watershed Management Org Mississippi Watershed Management Org North St. Louis SWCD Pelican River Watershed District Pope County SWCD Ramsey Conservation District Ramsey County Public Works Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District Rice Creek Watershed District Sherburne SWCD St. Croix Wetland Management District Stearns SWCD Steele County SWCD

Three Rivers Park District Todd County Parks and Trails Todd County SWCD Wadena SWCD Washington Conservation Distric Washington County Parks Winona County SWCD Woodbury County Conservation Board Wright County SWCD

Nonprofit Agassiz Audubon Society Audubon Center of the Northwoods Belwin Conservancy Boundary Country Trekking Friendship Ventures Carpenter’s St. Croix Valley Nature Center Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve Cheguamegon Area Mountain Bike Assn Cornerstone Montessori School Emergency Foodshelf Network Eureka Recycling Forest History Center Habitat for Humanity Hartley Nature Center Lake Plantagenet Lake Owners Assn Metro Blooms Mt. Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group National Multiple Sclerosis Society Neighborhood Energy Connection North Country Trail Association North Shore Community School Northern Pine Riders Snowmobile Club Northfield School of Arts and Technology Pathfinders Resources Conservation and Development Prairie Island Indian Community River Bend Nature Center Rural Renewable Energy Alliance St. Louis River Citizen’s Action Committee Sugarloaf Interpretive Center Assn Summit Hill Association Superior Hiking Trail Association The Natural Resources Research Institute The Nature Conservancy Westwood Village Home Assn Whitefish Area Property Owners Assn Will Steger Homestead Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center Youth Farm and Market Project


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2715 Upper Afton Road, Suite 100 Maplewood, MN 55119 651.209.9900

Resources restored. Lives changed.

I have changed. I feel wiser, more aware and I have acquired a new work ethic. Corey M. summer youth participant

This has been a big opportunity for me because in the next year I am planning to go to UMD for environmental science, conservation officer and wildlife studies. Kee L. Youth Outdoors participant

My technical skills have improved. My knowledge base has expanded. And I have gained contacts in the natural resource field. Paul S. AmeriCorps field corpsmember


Annual Report 2009  

annual report for 2009

Annual Report 2009  

annual report for 2009