OVER 20 YEARS OF CONSERVATION AND SERVICE.
Southwest Conservation Corps Ecological Monitoring crew member working for the Bureau of Land Management outside Leadville, Colorado.
Local action. Enduring impact.
Welcome to the 2019 Board of Directors Retreat! WE ARE DEEPLY THANKFUL FOR THE SUPPORT AND DEDICATION OF OUR CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS:
Andrew Moore, Chair Enrique Figueroa, Vice Chair Larry Hand, Secretary Loretta Pineda, Treasurer Ann Baker-Easley Butch Blazer Robert Burkhardt Nelson Cronyn CJ Goulding Karen Rudolph Cornell Torivio Philan Tree Dawnafe Whitesinger Stephanie Wu Elwood York
In 2018, Conservation Legacy engaged over 2,200 youth, young adults and veterans in conservation, restoration and community development projects and contributed 1.2 million hours of service to public lands. This year, we've just wrapped up our sweaty summer seasons. Fall sessions are in full swing and there are still Conservation Legacy crews and individual placements working hard in the field for their communities and the environment, pushing far past the boundaries of last year. Conservation Legacy programs engage participants on diverse conservation and community service projects that provide opportunities for personal and professional development and meet the high priority needs of public land managers and community partners. Working in close collab-
oration with partners across the country, Conservation Legacy advances the goals of increasing opportunities in conservation, stewardship, national service and workforce development. This year presented us with a moment to dig deep and reflect on how we can better engage our communities, continue to provide meaningful conservation service opportunities for individuals and strengthen the partnerships that allow us to carry this work forward. We are humbled by the young people who selflessly choose to commit themselves to communities in need in the wake of disaster, by the dedication of our veterans who find purpose and a renewed sense of service working to improve public lands, by our Ancestral Lands crews who strive to elevate their communities and ensure opportunities for generations to come and by every single crew member, crew leader and individual placement that shows us what service truly means. We are inspired by the dedication of our staff, the grit of our participants and the collective impact we are able to achieve through our partnerships. We celebrate 2019 and look forward to what 2020 will bring.
Many thanks to the people who have contributed to this report with their stories, photos and words. Huge gratitude to the program staff and field leaders who work tirelessly in the name of conservation and service to keep us going. To our participants, for their hard work and selfless dedication, nothing would be possible without them.
Appalachian Conservation Corps
Arizona Conservation Corps
Conservation Corps New Mexico
Preserve America Youth Summit
The Appalachian Conservation Corps (ACC) moves forward from the tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps to engage young people in conservation service projects. Through meaningful projects on the land, ACC crew members develop the ability to work and lead within a crew in a challenging and supportive environment. Over the course of the program, crew members deepen their connection to the local community and landscape as well as the greater conservation movement.
Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC) provides young adults with challenging service and educational opportunities throughout the full calendar year from the White Mountains, Flagstaff and Tucson, AZ. AZCC operates a continuum of programsâ€”from community-based initiatives for younger teens to residential camping crews for high school and college aged individuals, along with leadership programs for college graduates and job training programs specifically for current-era veterans. Programs are completed in partnership with public land agency managers.
Conservation Corps New Mexico (CCNM) provides young adults with challenging service and educational opportunities in Southern New Mexico and Western Texas, based in Las Cruces, NM. CCNM operates residential camping crews for young adults along with individual placements for college aged individuals and job training programs specifically for current-era veterans.
The Preserve America Youth Summit (PAYS) program began in 2007 with the goal of creating an opportunity for young people aged 13 to 18 to get out of the classroom and into the field to learn about history, archaeology, heritage tourism and preservation. Interacting directly with community partners such as federal, state and local governments and agencies as well as non-profit historic preservation, tourism, community and education organizations, each Youth Summit provides interactive, outcome-driven learning experiences and service opportunities.
Southeast Conservation Corps
Southwest Conservation Corps
Southeast Conservation Corps (SECC) operates conservation service programs throughout the Southeast that focus on empowering young people to cultivate compassion, responsibility and grit through community service, hard work and environmental stewardship. SECC is focused on connecting local youth to the natural environment through service learning, personal development and recreation. SECC offers a variety of opportunities, including a youth mountain biking program, Trips for KidsÂŽ Chattanooga and a variety of conservation programs for youth and young adults.
Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) operates conservation service programs across Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico with offices in Durango and Salida, CO, Gallup, Acoma, and Zuni, NM. SCC has broad program offerings including individual intern placements in natural resource positions as well as crew based conservation service programs for youth, young adults, and current-era veterans. SCC programs are rooted in the communities served, addressing local public land issues and working to meet community needs.
Stewards Individual Placement Program Stewards Individual Placement Program (SIPP) places AmeriCorps and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members in communities across America for up to a year of volunteer service by facilitating partnerships between federal agencies and community-based nonprofits. Unified in mission, each participant serves on a specific team distinguished by its unique focus and relevant federal agency partner affiliation.
New in 2019:
Conservation Legacy's Appalachian Conservation Corps partnered with the Conservation Trust for North Carolina to operate Conservation Corps North Carolina (CCNC) in 2019. CCNC engages motivated young adults, ages 16-27, to complete challenging and impactful conservation service projects throughout the region.
SNAPSHOT: Fostering conservation service in support of communities and ecosystems. Local action. Enduring impact.
Lovin' Our Parks Check out what our programs have been up to with the National Park Foundation! Read more on page 17.
I GET BY...
...with a little help from my friends! Conservation Legacy has historically had a large presence in the disaster relief community but 2019 saw an unprecedented effort in support of one of our own communities. In the wake of the Museum Fire in Flagstaff, Arizona, 12 Conservation Legacy crews, a total of 67 people, deployed to provide flood mitigation to the local community. The chances of destructive flooding increase after large wildfires because of the drastic changes to soil and terrain conditions. Crews worked closely with the County and City of Flagstaff to place protective sandbags around homes in the Sunnyside neighborhood and surrounding areas. These regions are the most vulnerable to flooding as they are just downhill of the drainage that sustained the worst of the Museum fire. "We're trying to divert water away from homes in the community;' explained Jakob Helsher, a member of one of the AZCC crews that worked on the mitigation project. Helsher has lived in Flagstaff since he was six years old, and remembers the Shultz fire in 2010. "Because I experienced that fire, this is my way of giving back;' he said. "When we work together, it makes us stronger:'
All-Corps Rendezvous Arizona Conservation Corps hosted the annual All-Corps Rendezvous in the Grand Canyon. The event brings together corps staff from across the country to talk shop and work to improve programming for the benefit of everyone.
Elevate Conservation Outdoors for All! Conservation Legacy supported the Elevate Conservation event at this summer's Outdoor Retailer, which featured speakers, music and FUN in the name of inclusivity.
Youth Summits Conservation Legacy presented six Preserve America Youth Summits, advancing youth engagement in service, stewardship conservation and historic preservation.
COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER AMBASSADORS The Community Volunteer Ambassador (CVA) program is a 50-week professional internship experience managed in partnership by the National Park Service, the Stewards Individual Placement Program and Northwest Youth Corps.
Burning Bright The Veterans Fire Corps turns 10! Time to celebrate! Read more about the VFC on page 11.
CVA members support volunteer programs by expanding volunteerism, service learning, community engagement efforts and increasing the sustainability of established programs. Ambassadors focus on a number of core objectives, including building enduring relationships with local communities, increasing park volunteerism opportunities, improving disaster response processes and helping to organize community stewardship days.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND US?
You can find Conservation Legacy and all programs on the usual social media platformsâ€”Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. New this year is The Field Guide, a digital space for telling the stories of our participants, partners and project work.
In 2019, Stewards supported 53 CVA placements across the country. Over 154,000 volunteer hours were leveraged through the program, providing a total value of $3,916,245 in volunteer time.
Youth Programs Southwest Conservation Corps' youth programming had another great summer season out of Durango and Salida!
More on page 19!
Check out The Field Guide: thefieldguide.blog 6
“I am the strongest I have ever been in my life.” Honoring the work, resiliency, leadership and grit of women working in conservation service. Meet Shandiin Shandiin Nez is a Program
Coordinator with Southwest Conservation Corps Ancestral Lands Navajo program. “I am proud of the tons of stones I have moved with my own body. My body is the only instrument I’ll ever own. I try to put it to good use. I made some impressive retaining walls that will outlive myself and my great grandchildren. I was just into a year of being a mason when my dad told me that my grandpa was a stone mason. In doing this work, I am honoring my ancestors and my culture.
“I am proud of the tons of stones I have moved with my own body.” Ancestral Lands has given so many people opportunities and I hope to perpetuate and facilitate those experiences for those of Native Nations, both federally recognized and non-recognized folks. I’m in full support of aiding their journey through our program and beyond. I’m very excited to be in this position in order to further indigenous communities and create more balance.”
Meet Natalia Natalia Muglia is a Field Supervisor with Southeast Conservation Corps “It can be frustrating to be a woman in this role. Challenges come from multiple directions, and sometimes that includes internally. I personally find those challenges motivating. I want to look at the dirt-caked glitter tape on my water bottle and remember that the strong women in my life are a huge part of what got me into this field, and I want to make them and myself proud! This field has taught me resiliency. I have been intellectually, physically and emotionally challenged, and have all of the tools needed to work through it. The ability to patiently problem solve and to feel a level of responsibility for my own well-being as well as those around me has echoed through my personal life. I consider myself very fortunate to have many women in my life that inspire me. My mom raised me to be independent, she is certainly the person who inspired such a deep love for our natural spaces and I am thankful for her every day. Brenna, Southeast Conservation Corps’ founder and program director is also someone I look up to. She has worked in the conservation world in many roles—her depth of knowledge and passion for making a positive impact is apparent every day.”
Olivia Gagliardi is an Alumni of Arizona Conservation Corps and now works with the Flagstaff Hotshots in the Coconino National Forest. “I became interested in fighting fire because I decided it was time to push the boundaries of my comfort zone and explore my capabilities. It combines my love of working outdoors with my desire to perform work that serves both people and the environment. It is my first season firefighting and although it has certainly proven to be the some of the most challenging work I have done, it is also some of the most gratifying work. I am the strongest I have ever been in my life and I am learning new skills everyday. Working in conservation, including my time spent crew leading, helped significantly in not only providing me with the skills and qualifications to obtain my position with the Forest Service, but it prepared me for a lifestyle of living simply, performing arduous work for long hours and perhaps most importantly, connecting with a crew to work towards an common goal. In the firefighting world there are three principles we live and work by: duty, respect and integrity. These values, however, were instilled in me long before, when I began conservation corps work four years ago. It began the process of shaping me into the woman I strive to be and firefighting is yet another step in that journey.”
60% of total Conservation Legacy staff are women. In 2018, 70% of new staff hired were women. 8
Tennessee Trail Angels Conservation Legacy's first allfemale teen crew finds community and conservation on public lands JENNI GRITTERS | SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 | REPRINTED FROM REI CO-OP JOURNAL
While the rest of
the world was reading news articles about the National Park Service’s more than $11 billion maintenance backlog, 18-year-old Alyssa Dela Cruz was doing something else entirely: She was working on park service land. During the month of June 2019, Dela Cruz joined three other high-schoolers from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to form an all-women’s teen Conservation Legacy work crew. Each morning, Dela Cruz showed up at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, which straddles the Georgia-Tennessee state line and preserves the sites of two major battles of the American Civil War. From 7:30am to 4pm, she worked on trail maintenance projects with her crewmates, often hiking two or three miles on-trail with all of her tools, a backpack, a gallon of water, and protective gear. She spent her days clearing trails, widening pathways, building retaining walls, and redirecting water streams off-trail. For her time, she was paid a small stipend and offered educational programming to teach her about what it’s like to get involved with our public lands on a grassroots level. “This was a very life-changing experience for me,” she says. “My crew reminded me that we can do anything we put our minds to. We as women forget how strong we actually are and how much power we actually hold.” Dela Cruz is only one of hundreds of members of the Southeast Conservation Corps (SECC), a local program that falls under the purview of the Conservation Legacy, which provides support to local grassroots conservation programs. 9
Through the SECC, youth, young adults and military veterans are placed in “meaningful service projects related to natural resource management and land stewardship,” on public lands around the Southeast, according to SECC Founder and Director Brenna Kelly. Teens like Dela Cruz apply for the program and are assigned a crew based on their interests. The terms of service range from four to six weeks for teen crews, and can be up to 52 weeks long for young adults and veterans. Dela Cruz’s crew, affectionately known as the Trail Angels, is the first teen cohort comprised entirely of women in the history of the SECC. During the past few years, funding and workers from the Conservation Legacy have become paramount to keeping our public lands usable. According to the National Park Service, as of July 2019, repairs and maintenance totaling more than $11.9 billion were needed for roads, buildings, utility systems and other structures on park service lands. The amount of needed maintenance has been increasing yearover-year. Policy makers are currently working on a bipartisan effort known as the Restore Our Parks Act, which would establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund to address deferred maintenance to the tune of $6.5 billion over a five-year period, but the bill has not yet made it out of committee. Because of the lack of park service funding for maintenance projects, individual park service superintendents and directors have started to look at alternative options—like working with the SECC—to keep their lands and trails accessible for visitors. Katherine Chesson, vice president of programs and partnerships at the
National Park Foundation, works with corporate partners to funnel funding toward Conservation Legacy crews, among other groups, hoping to advance these efforts toward tackling needed maintenance projects. “The $11.9 billion deferred maintenance is a front-and-center NPS issue,” Chesson says. “Our role is addressing priority needs around trail repair, historic structures, and repair and rehab … and work crews offer a sweet spot for trails and backcountry work that also brings people together. These teams won’t tackle the whole $11.9 billion, but they will help local lands with specific needs.” Chickamauga and Chattanooga Military Park Chief Ranger Todd Roeder says working with SECC crews like Dela Cruz’s group this summer was an incredibly positive experience for him and his coworkers—and it made a big difference for park visitors, too. “Our maintenance staff has been cut down and at this park, we don’t have the manpower to keep the trails up,” he says. “So we have an agreement with the Conservation Corps to get trails cleaned up over the summer. We love them to death and the impact has been great.” Last winter was a “rough one,” Roeder says, with lots of unexpected storms causing many trails to be washed out or in need of repairs so they could be opened for hikers. Foliage flourished into the park over the spring and summer months, thanks to the rain, leading to considerable overgrowth on the trails. The Southeast Conservation Corps crews working at the park this summer rolled up their sleeves and got to work on these projects. They built retaining walls so the trails wouldn’t get washed out again. Kelly says Dela Cruz’s crew worked specifically on the battlefields of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. They also cleared the Mountain Beautiful Trail on Lookout Mountain, which Roeder says was so overgrown due to years of neglect and massive spring growth, that visitors had started to complain. “You could see grass up to your shoulders,” Dela Cruz says of the Mountain Beautiful Trail. “There was barely any trail left, but
by the end of our time, there was a huge trail three to five feet wide for several miles. We changed the whole thing.” This was the first time the park has made use of a teen SECC crew, and Roeder says it was a win, both in terms of education and getting work done. Over the course of the summer, two all-women crews completed five miles of trail maintenance and installed 15 drains. They also maintained 15 water bars, which help redirect water off the trail, and installed 140 feet of turnpike, which elevate trails above wet ground. Overall, this totaled more than 1,000 hours of service completed for the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
“This was a very lifechanging experience for me.”
Beyond the numbers, Dela Cruz says the program taught her that she can handle challenging physical projects, no matter her gender or identity. “Just because we’re girls, that doesn’t mean we can’t do physical labor,” she says. “In conservation, there aren’t many females at all, but this crew made me comfortable to think about doing this job. I felt welcome and safe to make mistakes.”
Kelly says she loved working with the all-women teen crews as she wishes she’d had a community like that when she was cutting her teeth in the conservation and natural resource management world years ago. “I have been overwhelmed with joy, pride, and emotion this year as we have moved our programmatic needle forward with regards to inclusivity and equity,” she says. Chesson agrees, noting that teen conservation corps programs provide young people with firsthand experience of what a career in conservation might look like. “We are trying to build the next generation of National Park Service stewards and supporters,” she says. Would Dela Cruz work on public lands again? Absolutely, she says—and more broadly, she believes the program has impacted her sense of agency in taking care of our natural resources. “I want my kids to be able to enjoy the stuff that I enjoy,” she says. “We take things for granted with all this tech and we don’t even get outside anymore. But I don’t want [our national parks] to go away!” The summer experience also taught her that she has the power to make a change in our natural environment, however small. “If you have a park near you, look things up and see how you can help by volunteering or investing in programs,” she says. “There’s so much to be done and not enough people who are aware of it, but even the littlest things can make a change.” 10
Burning Bright The Veterans Fire Corps celebrates 10 years of operation and impact ROSE CLEMENTS | CONSERVATION LEGACY STAFF | THE FIELD GUIDE
Millions of acres burn every
begins at Colorado Firecamp. Established in 2002, Colorado Firecamp is a nonprofit wildland firefighter school that offers basic 100- and 200-level courses developed by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Courses focus on leadership, incident command, and fire suppression skills. Graduates are eligible to receive a red card, which qualifies them to fight wildfires.
Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) worked in partnership with state and federal agencies like the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Americorps, and others to establish the Veterans Fire Corps (VFC) in 2009. The program engages recent-era Veterans on a variety of fire suppression projects and helps to develop the next generation of the nation’s wildland firefighters.
Over 400 Veterans have completed seasons with Conservation Legacy through VFC programming since Southwest Conservation Corps supported the inaugural program back in 2009. In early March of 2019, Southwest Conservation Corps again broke new ground by sending the first Ancestral Lands VFC crew to Firecamp. The crew of Native Vets completed basic training led by Colorado River Wildland Division Chief Zach Pigati, and performed a small prescribed slash pile burn on a nearby property to culminate their field training.
year in wildfires across the country. Many are caused by human carelessness, but the steady increase of temperatures due to climate change is making forests drier and more prone to burning. When our homes and resources are threatened, we rely on wildland firefighters to manage the flames and protect our livelihoods.
Four of Conservation Legacy’s local programs currently operate VFC crews. For most of the members, their term of service 11
According to the National Interagency Fire Center in 2018, 8,582,609 acres were burned by 55,911 different wildfire starts throughout the United States, and 2019 predictions anticipate those numbers increasing. It’s important to remember that while they can at times be catastrophic, most wildfires are a natural part of many ecosystems, and—under normal conditions—are a healthy way for forests to self-regulate and periodically clear the dead growth in their understory. This process returns the nutrients in to the soil where they can then be reabsorbed, rather than trapping them in the dead plant matter. Some plants and trees actually require fire in order to reproduce. They rely on the extreme heat caused by forest fires to melt the resin that coats their fruits in order for the seedlings inside to be released. Species include lodgepole pine and manzanita, both of which grow in the southwestern region of the United States, where SCC operates. Unless wildfires are especially extreme or threatening cities or towns, they should be allowed to run their course. However, the positive outcomes of wildfires decrease when they are met with the effects of climate change. With temperatures rising and droughts lengthening,
Veterans Fire Corps Alumni “I came to VFC searching for something meaningful. I wasn’t happy. Our first week was spent getting red carded at Colorado Fire Camp. I can’t explain how incredible that week was. Amy took us on an early morning hike, racing the sunrise. We made it to a ridge that overlooked Mt. Shavano to the west and to our east was an orange horizon. She told us to drop packs and face the coming light. As we sat on our packs Amy read to us words that remain a permanent fixture in my mind. It was maybe the most beautiful morning of my life. We hiked down the ridge back to camp and I knew I had found the purpose of my life.
“I knew I had found the purpose of my life.” many fires are burning longer and hotter, and ecosystems are sometimes unable to regenerate after being scorched. “Annual moisture deficits were significantly greater from 2000 to 2015 as compared to 1985–1999, suggesting increasingly unfavorable post‐fire growing conditions, corresponding to significantly lower seedling densities and increased regeneration failure,” explains a 2017 publication of Ecology Letters. When fires encroach on property or resources, or threaten to burn out of control, wildland firefighters are ready to respond. Conservation Legacy VFC crews become quickly acquainted with the ‘grunt work’ that firefighting demands. They spend a lot of time clearing ground and ladder fuels—using chainsaws and hand tools to clear small trees, shrubs, and dead plant matter which can carry fire from the ground into the canopy and ignite deadly ‘crown fires’. Hazard fuel reduction is vital fire suppression work, and can also include tactics like thinning densely forested areas and limbing trees. Crews can also be mobilized on prescribed burns, and at times, initial fire attack.
It can be challenging to readjust to civilian life after military service. Many VFC crew members find the program to be a welcome bridge between their service and ‘normal’ life. Traditional jobs tend to lack the structure, camaraderie, and adrenaline rush that vets experience during their military career, which often leaves them feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. “It’s taken me a long time to find something like this,” explained one VFC member while clearing ladder fuels in Coronado National Monument in Arizona. “For a lot of us—for warriors—it’s hard to transition into a behind-the-desk job. I know there are a lot of veterans out there who are looking for something to put themselves into that means something again…And this is really helpful for that.” Conservation Legacy is honored to be able to provide capacity at the local level to engage veterans in an opportunity of continued service. We continue to prioritize the experience and safety of the Veterans that serve in our VFC program, and maintain a humble respect for the destructive capability of wildfires while acknowledging their ecological importance.
Alex and I quickly discovered we shared a lot in common. At S-212 we were both itching to get out on a run. Finally we got permission after dinner to take off up the road and ended up on a trail that climbed in only one inclined direction. After perhaps 45 minutes we made it back to camp and gathered Ashlee to walk with us to the river. We walked down the road in the pitch dark, no headlamps on and I’ll never forget how beautiful that night was; how bright those stars were. We reached the river and Alex and I both swam in the already freezing September waters. We walked back to camp, becoming friends under a glorious night sky. A natural high. My last memory is something almost certainly shared by all of us. Our first burn. New Mexico. I didn’t know what burning piles would entail but as we began to set flame and advance on the side of a mountain the smoke quickly enveloped us. Ahead and below stretched a pristine meadow. Around me was giant Ponderosas. Above was blue sky. But behind was the source of that smoke, a mesmerizing inferno. It looked as if the entire forest would surely be enveloped. It was a beautiful terror, akin to a spiritual experience. The healing aspect of this apparent destruction was unmistakable. I’ve never felt more connected to our planet.” 12
Finding the Future in Acoma Youth Ancestral Lands' Acoma Hiking Club completes eighth consecutive year supporting youth, community and connection to the outdoors VERNON HOWEYA | ANCESTRAL LANDS CREW LEADER
The Pueblo of Acoma is the ANCESTRAL LANDS AT A GLANCE: Ancestral Lands was established in 2008 at Pueblo of Acoma and has supported the expansion and replication of that program to multiple Native American communities since. 181 Total Ancestral Lands Participants in FY19 Over $2 million in wages, salaries, living allowances and education awards in FY19 276 acres restored and 10 miles of trail built through FY19 NPS projects
oldest of the 19 pueblos of New Mexico, located approximately 50 miles west of Albuquerque. Like any other pueblo, Acoma is keeping up with modern times. However, if you head 30 miles South, you will find yourself in a whole different world—in the middle of a vast panoramic valley of beautiful sandstone rock formations and mesas that touch the clouds. Atop one of these monolithic mesas sits the oldest continually inhabited village in North America. Archaeologists estimate that it was established in around 1150 A.D. Known as Sky City, or in Keresan; “Haak'u,” the name translates in English as ‘a place prepared’. To the Northeast, you will find another ancestral homeland of Haak'u, known as “Ka’dziima,” or in English, Enchanted Mesa. Atop Haak'u, you will feel as if you were in another place, as if being on an island in the sky. You will see old homes, some three stories high and some older than the United States itself. All of the houses are traditional Pueblo homes, and most of them made from the same materials used by ancestors in the past: sandstone rocks, mud, straw, and beams made from ponderosa pine. To this day, Acoma Pueblo is still keeping up with their
roots. There is no running water, electricity, or indoor plumbing in any of the homes. Traditions and ceremonies on Haak'u are still on-going and remain strong. Sacred leaders and their families remain on the mesa year-round, sacrificing and praying for their land, people, and animals as well as the people around the country, and are making preparations for a similar amount of 2019 placements. But much has changed. Although Acoma and its people do their best to retain their language and culture for future generations, the current generation is leaning away from traditional ways and gaining more interest in modern technologies and American life. It’s sad that in the communities nowadays you see less children playing outside compared to past generations, who would enjoy spending their every last sunlight hour playing around the beautiful landscapes of Acoma. When children applied for the Hiking Club program, their parents were asked: “What would your child be doing for the summer, if there were no Hiking Club?” Many of the responses we heard were, “At home watching TV, playing video games, or on their phones.” Another response was, “There is nothing for them to do at home.” This loss makes the service that Acoma Hiking Club provides for the youth of its Pueblo even more necessary.
This is the eighth consecutive year that Conservation Legacy’s Ancestral Lands program has operated the Hiking Club for the children of Acoma Pueblo. This year, the Club consisted of three groups of ten kids, ages eight to fifteen. They were supervised by two Hiking Club leaders four days out of the week, for two and a half weeks. Each day featured a hike in a new place. At the end of each term, the kids were rewarded with an overnight camping trip to someplace far away from home.
“There is nothing for them to do at home.”
The children hiked an average of 20 to 30 miles a week, and were encouraged to drink plenty of water since most of the hiking destinations didn’t have much shade. Lunch and snacks were provided, as well as a Camelbak water bag, which was given to them as an incentive: they could keep it as long as they completed at least 70% of the program. An Ancestral Lands Hiking Club t-shirt was also provided, so the kids could show their support of the program.
It is well known that Acoma’s ancestors occupied the popular areas we know today as Mesa Verde, Bandelier, Chaco Canyon, and El Morro National Monuments. Because of this, Acoma Pueblo has strong spiritual and historical ties to these places. While visiting these sites, children got the chance to experience the places behind the stories that their elders mentioned in their historical teachings. It was an incredible feeling to see their emotions, especially when they explored places they had never seen before. It was a good feeling of knowing that we had done our job. The Hiking Club gets better every year and gains its popularity from the children, especially when they share their experiences with friends and relatives. Many of Acoma’s youth are becoming disconnected from the joy of being outdoors, but this program helps to turn that around. The Hiking Club youth found plenty to do and were entertained once they were shown the beauty and natural wonders around them. They also found an understanding of the sacredness of their homeland, and the importance of preserving what Mother Nature provides so that it can be passed on to future generations to come.
Creating Opportunity in Outdoor Spaces The Southeast's first American Sign Language Inclusion program ROSE CLEMENTS | CONSERVATION LEGACY STAFF | THE FIELD GUIDE
It’s a typical summer day
in Tennessee—hot and bright, with just enough humidity to remind you it could rain at any moment. And the Southeast Conservation Corps (SECC) trail crew wielding loppers and saws and heading out to work on Chestnut Mountain appears typical too—but they all have something in common that’s not immediately apparent: each member of the crew has hearing difficulties. They represent a range in abilities from mild or moderate hearing loss to no functional hearing at all. These are the members of SECC’s first ever American Sign Language inclusion (ASLi) crew. Brenna Kelly, Director of SECC, decided to look into developing a crew model that would serve the deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) community just over two years ago. “We were already running a successful Youth Conservation Corps program,” she said, “and it was time to expand it to include a more diverse spectrum of participants in order to bring needed equity and inclusion to SECC, as well as the greater field of conservation and land stewardship.” Although SECC isn’t the first corps to run a deaf inclusion crew, the model is the first of its kind in the Southeast region of the country. Through interactions with members from the deaf community, Brenna learned that “employment opportunities for D/HH youth and adults are very minimal compared to hearing individuals. 15
Many D/HH youth graduate from high school and enter the work force with limited to no work experience.” Recognizing the opportunity to offer unique experiences to an under-served local community and knowing she wanted to create a conservation crew model to engage them, Brenna reached out to CorpsTHAT for assistance with program model development. CorpsTHAT is an organization that provides support services and programs that create more inclusive spaces in the outdoors for the deaf community. “We could not have run our ASLi program without them—nor should we have,” Brenna said. “There is no one on SECC’s staff that is deaf, so it seemed inappropriate to assume SECC could implement this program model without a partnering organization from the deaf community to assist us.” To prepare for the inaugural ASLi crews, Brenna also took ASL classes in order to learn the language and better understand the community. She wanted to be able to communicate with the members and leaders she was about to recruit and acknowledged that she couldn’t build relationships if she couldn’t speak to them. SECC ran two separate ASLi crews for youth aged 16-19 in the summer of 2019. The sessions each lasted for three weeks, and members camped for the duration. Camping equipment and all meals were provided, as well as a weekly stipend. Monday through Friday crews worked on conservation projects, and during the weekend they relaxed and did recreational activities. The ASLi program aims to provide its members the opportunity to experience work outside of traditional employment opportunities for deaf people. The program places members and leaders in a cohort that provides the comfort and safety net of working alongside D/ HH peers while gaining experience in an industry that historically hasn’t included them. “I applied for this program because they expect a lot from you here,” signed ASLi crew member Trei Lutes-Stein. “They push you; they show you good leadership, and they put you into situations that you can grow from. At home, it’s the same old thing, but here, it’s different. I go through a lot, it’s tough work. I believe this will push me to have a good future and to be successful.”
“At home, it's the same old thing, but here, it's different.” Crews that break the traditional corps model and seek to include members that share a common demographic are often referred to as ‘single-identity’ or affinity crews. SECC’s ASLi crew falls into this category. Single-identity crew models can sometimes be contentious. Some believe that they create a space where those members can feel safe, accepted, and understood, thus acting as a bridge between an under-served community and the outdoor industry. However, others believe that they don’t foster diversity because they sequester the marginalized groups that comprise them. But that’s the point, explains Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin of DEI consulting group Avarna, in a blog post on the group’s website. “Single-identity spaces are not diverse, and that is by design. If we want to include marginalized communities in this movement that we call “conserva-
tion” and “recreation,” equity demands that we support their being able to gather in spaces created for them and by them.” SECC is currently working to obtain funding for additional ASLi crew sessions in the summer of 2020. The success of the first two sessions has given staff insight on what worked well and what can be improved next year. Trinity Arreola, one of the ASLi crew members, expressed that while she appreciated learning about new tools and experiencing conservation work during her session, there was more to the program than that. “It’s also about learning respect and leadership and showing good work ethic. It’s about finding yourself. Finding your identity; who you are.” Establishing innovative program models like ASLi is an example of how conservation corps can be an example for the communities they work in. Brenna's advice for other corps that want to start single-identity crews? “Be humble. Seek invested and knowledgeable partners from within the community. Collaborate. Be flexible, sincere, and patient. Accept that it costs more and plan for that as best you can. Do it!”
Lovin' Our Parks Conservation Legacy continues partnership with the National Park Foundation Exposure to the beauty and splendor of
National Parks can ignite a life-long interest in outdoor recreation. This exposure is more powerful when one experiences a place by contributing through stewardship to its improvement, knowing that it will always be a place for others to enjoy. Conservation Legacy is proud to be one of the leading corps partners of the National Park Foundation in their $3.5 million initiative to expand young diverse leaders’ capacity to help protect national parks, lift up communities, and gain in-demand job skills training through service corps programs. In 2019, with $584,000 in support from the National Park Foundation, Conservation Legacy engaged diverse populations and fielded single identity crews including an all-women’s crew and a Native conservation crew. These participants focused on reducing the maintenance backlog through trail and fence repair projects and engaged volunteers to work along with the crews during planned service days. Friends Groups, including the Shenandoah Trust and the Grand Canyon Conservancy contributed support for additional conservation crew projects for youth conservation corps and deferred maintenance projects. These projects will continue into the fall. In 2018, Conservation Legacy engaged 51 young Americans through paid service and volunteer stewardship projects through the newly launched Love Your Park Conservation Corps (LYPCC) program. The LYPCC’s purpose was to highlight, improve and preserve National Trails and provide unique visitor experiences. The projects and infrastructure improvements were identified by National Park Service as critical to visitor use, visitor safety and engagement of new visitors. Many of the youth in communities close to National Park Service locations do not experience these lands and locations. Paid service opportunities and volunteer days facilitated opportunities to connect communities and parks and gave young people a reason to return to the park(s) to show family and friends the projects they completed. Ancestral Lands, Appalachian Conservation Corps, Arizona Conservation Corps, Conservation Corps New Mexico, Southeast Conservation Corps and Stewards Individual Placements have supported projects, crews and individuals funded through the National Park Foundation.
Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC) Ancestral Lands crew 366 spent the summer in Grand Canyon National Park for their three-month term of service.
Throughout their season,
this all-Native crew camped out on the South Rim, witnessed spectacular sunsets, and visited and worked in areas of the park that few ever get to see. Their work centered on restoring the National Park Service (NPS) boundary fence that encircles the park. In some areas, the fence was in such bad shape that they had to completely rebuild it. The park boundary fence, comprised simply of barbed wire, serves primarily to keep wild horses, burros, and other livestock from entering the park from nearby lands. The impacts of livestock crossing the fence-line are felt on both sides: sensitive areas of the park can be damaged by trampling hooves, native plants may be devoured, and visitors can be put at risk. Additionally, it is cost-prohibitive and at times impossible for the tribes living near the park to travel the long distances to round up their animals. Therefore, both the park and its neighbors benefit from a protective and sturdy boundary. “This work is very important,” emphasized Arizona Conservation Corps Operations Director Russ Dickerson. “And it couldn’t
happen without the park’s strong support of our Ancestral Lands crews, and without the generous funding we received from our partner the National Park Foundation.” Some areas of the boundary fence had not been maintained in years when the crew showed up to work on them. These backlogged repairs are part of a long list of deferred maintenance projects within the NPS system. Because of support from organizations like the National Park Foundation, conservation service programs like AZCC are able to hone-in on these critical backlog projects, filling a gap in capacity to address an important issue.
“I felt like I was meant to be there.” Ty Polacca, a 21-year-old crew member from the Pueblo of Zuni, NM, explained that the fence reparation was “aesthetically pleasing work. It took a lot of concentration to get the right measurements and get the technique down, but it felt so satisfying seeing this perfect fence line stretching for miles after completing a section. It was a new experience for me—I’d never done that kind of work before. Learning how to use the different tools and about the different ecosystems within the park was really cool,” he said.
When the summer season had come to a close, the crew had completed 14 miles of fence inspection and maintenance. They rebuilt over a full mile of brand-new fence. But those hard numbers don’t illustrate the personal growth they experienced or portray the beauty they witnessed. “On the second hitch of our season, the entire crew went out to the rim and we saw this gorgeous sunset,” Ty recalled. “We stayed until it got dark. No one talked—we just appreciated where we were in that moment. I felt like I was meant to be there, like I chose the right path. I felt like I was where I was supposed to be in the universe. After completing his season, Ty will be back to work in the Grand Canyon later this fall. “I visited the Canyon when I was a kid, and now I feel this strong connection to it,” he said. “I feel proud to be there. My mom told me that we have a very deep connection with the Canyon. Visiting it as a kid, I really didn’t know what I was seeing at the time. Now that I’m older and working to maintain the park and keep it in good shape, it’s a whole different experience. There was something that drew me to the Canyon as a kid, and that same thing has drawn me back as an adult.”
Volunteer Voices Stories and reflections from Stewards' Community Volunteer Ambassadors across the country
Representation matters, and
2019 CVA AT A GLANCE: 53 Community Volunteer Ambassadors 154,000 leveraged volunteer hours $3,916,245 value of volunteer hours 3,496 volunteers involved with educational programming 958 volunteers involved with veterans groups 4,287 volunteers involved with deferred maintenance
while doing an education piece with a group of girl scouts I was recently reminded of how powerful it is to see yourself represented in intentional ways. These girl scouts had members from Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Washington, and came to Glacier National Park to earn their conservation badge through volunteerism. They did weed pulling, painting, and huckleberry surveys while they were here, but an unexpected moment came up while we were taking a break from painting to learn about the greater NPS system. We have an activity that I learned while working with our education department this past spring, where we look at the different mission statements of the National Forest and the National Park and compare and contrast them. Then we focus in on the NPS mission and look at pictures of different NPS sites and talk about why these sites are protected. I handed out a variety of pictures of NPS sites to the scouts and had them think about why these sites were important and worth protecting. When it came time to share one of the scouts showed her picture of Stonewall Inn in New York and said "this place is important to my culture" and then explained why it was so important to her. She explained why this place that was on the other side of the country, this place that she'd never been to, needed protected and celebrated. It was wild to see this scout that had just two minutes earlier been slumping over with afternoon sleepiness, and trying to be politely interested in what I was saying genuinely light up, sit taller, and engage when she got her picture. It was an unexpected moment that made my day. Representation matters. -Emma Hilliard, CVA at Glacier National Park
There is a disconnect
between the National Park Service and communities who have historically been excluded or not represented in the park service workforce. As an urban park in Seattle, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (KLSE) has a unique opportunity to facilitate urban community groups’ involvement with Washington state's traditional ‘nature’ national parks. On April 20th, I joined my colleagues from KLSE and students from the Mount Tahoma Deaf T-Birds Club to volunteer for Washington’s Coastal Clean-up Day at Olympic National Park (OLYM). For many participants, this was their first visit to a national park and they were eager to experience the ocean. Through partnerships with the Washington Trails Association and the YMCA of the Greater Seattle Area, volunteers were provided outdoor gear and transportation to the Washington Coast (appropriate gear and transportation can be huge barriers for getting people to their public lands). We departed early in the morning and met the group outside their high school in Tacoma. From there, we embarked on a three hour journey to the Washington Coast. Upon arrival, we met with park rangers at OLYM, geared up with gloves and bags, and spent time walking Ruby Beach--picking up trash, taking photos, and watching the waves on a rare sunshine-filled April day. Our time cleaning up the beach was relatively short, but the volunteers maintained their sense of
stewardship by going after pieces of rope, plastic, and tubing. Our garbage and recycling bags quickly filled up! Afterwards, the group was invited to a thank-you barbecue and contributed to a rainbow ‘art from trash’ project, which OLYM rangers will use in Seattle’s upcoming Pride Parade. Participants from the Deaf T-Birds said “we cleaned and cleared out garbage that was dangerous to living organisms. We really enjoyed the nature around us. I would come back because it’s a nice ‘getaway’ from reality,” "I liked how we were teammates on the beach," "I would come back because everyone was nice, made me feel comfortable. And I love to help change the world."
Foundation and American Express. The partnership formed with the Deaf T-Birds was in part due to one of the club's member participating in the summer In My Backyard internship program at KLSE in 2018. -Carol Holmson, CVA at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Spending the day with this thoughtful and enthusiastic group of high school students was truly inspiring. I couldn't help but smile as I watched them laugh with their friends, untangle seaweed from rope, and run from the crashing ocean waves. It was a rewarding day of stewardship, memorable interactions, and I'm thankful for the opportunities I had to learn from the students. I, along with most of the volunteers, wish we could have spent more time on the wild and beautiful Washington coast. The Deaf T-Birds Club participated in another trip to Mount Rainier National Park for recreation on May 19th. These trips were part of a new initiative to bring underrepresented groups to public lands for volunteering and recreating opportunities, with support from the National Park 20
The Pinedale Ranger Station gets some love Historic Preservation with Arizona Conservation Corps, the USFS and HistoriCorps in the White Mountains of Arizona
AZCC White Mountains Crew 361 joined HistoriCorps for a week of historic preservation work in Pinedale, AZ. Located in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, the crew worked on the Pinedale Ranger Station originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1934. Upon arrival, the former barn was quite a sight – panels of white and teal lead paint were peeling off the sides, patches of rooftiles were curled and missing, and failing wood was clearly visible. Our wonderful project partners from HistoriCorps continually taught, supervised, and laughed alongside the hardworking crew the entire week. Natalie Henshaw, the Project Supervisor, was an extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic leader with a knack for identifying and restoring historic windows, and Allison (Alo) Osberg, the Crew Leader, was an exceptional carpenter, and a patient and willing teacher. Natalie and Alo explained that the majority of the preservation efforts for the week would be scraping and striping the toxic lead paint that covered the building’s exterior, in preparation for repainting. Paint is often the first line of defense from the elements – and buildings are much less likely to be vandalized if they’re well cared for. We kicked off the week building a containment tent lining two exterior walls – this prevented lead paint chips from blowing away and becoming an environmental contaminant. Then, we suited up in our lead-isolation suits and PPE: Hard hat, eye pro, special lead-dust respirator, rubber gloves, full body suit, and shoe covers. Donning paint scrapers and brushes, 21
we got to work in the sweltering saunas we constructed. With no air-flow and tarp tents, the mid-July sun proved to be brutal, and sweat started pooling instantly. But the crew kept their moral up – AZCC Crew Leader Sheldon sang deep bellowing country songs, with members pitching in a line or two, and all were chatting through rasping respirators about favorite movies and music. While the containment tent was hot and crowded, it was also full of jovial energy. In between paint scraping, each crew member got to choose, remove, and restore a window from the ranger station structure. Using a Speed-Eater to speedheat the lead paint for removal, each member learned how to remove, clean, and re-glaze the glass. Once the windows were returned to their rightful sills, every member was able to point to a window and proudly say, “I did that!” Natalie and Alo instilled a sense of ownership in the crew, and their dedication and perseverance showed it – scraping paint for hours on end is not glamorous work. However, both crew and staff were able to keep the enthusiasm up through the sweat, heat, and laborious project work. Partnering with HistoriCorps was an exciting change in pace for the trail crew. It showed them that the skills they developed on the trail can translate to a variety of different fields; whether that might be historic preservation, carpentry, and renovations, or leadership, and keeping a positive attitude.
PARTNER AND PARTICIPANT EXPERIENCE JALEN NICOLY, SOUTHWEST CONSERVATION CORPS “You can’t find your soul in technology; you find it out here. We constantly learned skills whether we were at work, figuring out tools or at camp adapting to new people. Life is quite an adventure if you choose it to be.” ORI REHMAN, SOUTHWEST CONSERVATION CORPS YOUTH CREW “A lot of people do not understand the outdoors, and the effect it has on them. Some know but have forgotten. When you are working to help the earth and its features you complete your purpose of contributing to the world. It was an amazing time, and a great way to help conserve our planet small steps at a time. “ ROBBIE PATLA, SOUTHWEST CONSERVATION CORPS “During this experience I got to find myself and my purpose.” HANNAH BONNER, STEWARDS INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENT PROGRAM “Reflecting on my experience, I am honored to have played a role in sharing the remarkable resources and science of Denali. As a whole, my time in Denali is a perfect launching point as I prepare to start graduate school this fall. I intend to use the skills, connections, and perspective I’ve gained from Denali to better the world around me.” DARIUS STEWART, ANCESTRAL LANDS “I’m here for the kids, and it’s been great. I’ve gotten to see them connect with each other, come out of their shells and be happy while outdoors. They’ve learned a lot about the landscape. They’re excited about what they find and learn.” CLARA LERCHI, SOUTHWEST CONSERVATION CORPS “It's the first thing in my life that I’ve done that feels completely worthwhile.”
MARISA JOE, ANCESTRAL LANDS “Coming from the been-theredone-that community, someone who has experienced drug addiction and trauma, it’s a really big victory to get to this place. I think that the work that Conservation Legacy is doing, especially with the Southwest Conservation Corps Ancestral Lands is powerful. We as native people, we want to stay in our communities, we want there to be opportunities for us and having these programs in our own communities makes that possible.” MICHAEL RUBIN, CHIEF OF FACILITY MANAGEMENT, MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK “Overall the crew went above and beyond expectations. The crew itself worked hard even in very hot temperatures. The crew and especially crew leaders were very professional. The attitude that the crew had was refreshing and needed.” ANTHONY STAZI, APPALACHIAN CONSERVATION CORPS "I always like to think about the day I signed up for this position. I was having a really rough go of things. In this past year, I’ve had an onset of depression. I was up one night and I was like: “That’s it—I’ve gotta do something.” This was probably the best decision I have made. Physical labor, healthy living, working through it all, and building that mental fortitude. It all adds up to be good for mental health, and help you grow as a person. So as soon as I saw this position, I was like: “that’s it, that’s what I’m doing.” Something in me knew that this is what I needed to help me work through what I was dealing with." DAVY DICKHUT, SOUTHEAST CONSERVATION CORPS “I found myself rapidly getting better with conservation work skills, my comfort and preparedness in the outdoors, and just plain old grit. Beyond these more visceral advancements, I found direction for my life beyond.”
STEVE PRINTZ, SUPERVISOR (TRAILS), SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK “The crew did an amazing job. The work they accomplished was exactly what we wanted and the trails in the [South District, Shenandoah National Park] needed. One thing I would like to say is that the leader was very detailed and safety oriented—she planned each day very well.” JENNIFER OWEN-WHITE, MANAGER, VALLE DE ORO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE “Having an AmeriCorps VISTA, someone who has experience in community and regional planning, landscape architecture and indigenous design to actually be a part of designing a multimillion dollar visitors center for the refuge has been an incredible opportunity for us.” LIZETTE BETANCOURT, APPALACHIAN CONSERVATION CORPS "I grew through this experience, because I did all these things when other people said I couldn’t or shouldn’t do. And now, here I am—we’re almost done with our season, and now I’m going to go home and get my own apartment and feel as if I’ve accomplished something that I always said I couldn’t do. Now here I am, past all that. I was really in a deep hole for a long time. This experience was a big help to fix that." WILLIAM ALLEN, ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS “This program has helped me find the sense of purpose I lost after exiting the Marine Corps, it’s given me the foot in the door I was looking for. I’ve gotten to see parts of this country I would have never otherwise experienced and built relationships with some really great people who are on my crew. For vets who find themselves working jobs that don’t hold a candle to what they did when they were in, I’d say there’s a good chance that this is the kind of work that provides the structure and sense of accomplishment that fills you with that sense of pride again.”
ALLISON AYERS, WILDERNESS TRAILS SPECIALIST, NORTH KAIBAB RANGER DISTRICT " Working with the youth is not just about getting the job done, it’s also about empowering young people to do things they never thought in their wildest dreams that they could do. This program makes the impossible possible for many young adults." MARTIN APODOCA, CONSERVATION CORPS NEW MEXICO “This experience has been the most gratifying, memorable, and most of all fulfilling venture I have ever been apart of. I cannot be more grateful to have been selected. Thank you Conservation Legacy for making programs like this possible.” ALEX NENY, SOUTHEAST CONSERVATION CORPS VETERANS FIRE CORPS “My VFC experience with SECC was phenomenal. I truly believe that it prepared me for my first western wildland fire season as an engine crew member for the National Park Service in Arizona. I am about to start a fire season in South Carolina with United States Fish and Wildlife on a wildlife refuge. My Fire Management Officer told me that my VFC and NPS fire experience definitely helped in determining my level of competency.” JUDY STECKLER, PARTNER, LAND TRUST FOR THE MISSISSIPPI COASTAL PLAIN “The crew covered a large area of bottomland hardwood the first day cutting and treating invasive species and cleared a trail and playground area on another project for the balance of their stay. They completed so much more than I could have ever hoped from any other group of volunteers that we utilize. Our conservation areas are much improved and in better condition thanks to your efforts. It was a joy to work with this crew and so much fun as well!”
LOOK BACK: Fostering conservation service in support of communities and ecosystems. Local action. Enduring impact.
MILES OF TRAILS CREATED/MAINTAINED: Increasing recreational access to public lands
TOTAL ACRES IMPROVED: On all Conservation Legacy projects
2018 PROJECT LOCATIONS
During the 2018 fiscal year, Conservation Legacy facilitated an economic impact of $15,999,237 in Americorps Education Awards and living stipends for participants and leaders. 87,787 hours were spent on education and training, developing the next generation workforce.
Crew Leaders: 193 Crew Members: 918 Individual Placements: 786 AmeriCorps VISTAs: 159 Youth Summits: 87 Hiking Clubs: 85
Total Revenue: $25,627,572
Does not identify male or female
Total Expenses: $24,816,197
Prefer not to answer
Total Expenses By Program:
American Indian or Alaskan Native
Stewards Individual Placements: $8,130,983 Southwest Conservation Corps: $7,061,078 More than one
Prefer not to answer
Black/ African American
Arizona/Conservation Corps New Mexico: $6,196,205 Southeast Conservation Corps: $736,852 Appalachian Conservation Corps: $482,589 Preserve America Youth Summits: $87,480 Other: $2,121,010
All in the Family Our staff is the heart of Conservation Legacy!
Caitlin Payne, IP Program Coordinator Lisa Slupianek, Program Coordinator Ben Correll, Program Coordinator Anna Hendricks, Regional Director Dylan Lang, Logistics Coordinator Lynn Moore, Administrative Assistant Aubrey Tamietti, Youth Programs Manager Thérèse Ryley, Program Director
Stewards Individual Placements Beckley, WV and Durango, CO
Ancestral Lands Ryan Aguilar, Zuni Program Coordinator Michellsey Benally, Navajo Program Director Ron Hassel, Development Director Aaron Lowden, Acoma Pueblo Program Coord Robert Mariano, Albuquerque Program Coord Marshall Masayesva, Hopi Program Coordinator Shandiin Nez, Navajo Program Coordinator Chas Robles, Ancestral Lands Regional Director Kyle Trujillo, Program Director Karles Tsui, Logistics Coordinator
Appalachian Conservation Corps Harrisonburg, VA Zach Foster, Corps Director Michelle Marsich, Associate Program Director Robbie Pullen, Operations Coordinator
Arizona Conservation Corps and Conservation Corps New Mexico Flagstaff, Tucson and the White Mountains • Las Cruces, NM Sarah Lopez Au, Administrative Assistant Krysta Best, Recruitment Coordinator Sierra Bingham-Ruhl, Program Coordinator Victor Chandler-Cremades, Logistics Coord Russ Dickerson, Operations Director Joel Garcia, Recruitment Director Lee Gault, Associate Director Kayla Gundrum, Recruitment Coordinator Matthew Hurst, Training and Logistics Director Allison Laramee, Associate Director Afton McKusick, Field Program Director Michelle Norris, Program Manager Kelly O'Neill, Program Coordinator DeeAnn Oldsen, Logistics Technician Andrew Pawlicki-Sinclair, Recruitment Coord Nathan Peters, Program Coordinator James Pitts, Program Manager
Celia Sanchez, Queen Bee Preston Sands, IP Program Support Coordinator Julia Schaller, Recruitment Coordinator Monica Stapleton, Logistics Technician Emily Storjohann, Administrative Assistant Marissa Strong, IP Program Support Coordinator Emily Swartz, Local Program Coordinator Judy Tincher, Recruitment Support Technician Genevieve Tucker, Field Supervisor Danielle Wess, Field Supervisor Jessica Wheeler, Administrative Assistant Joseph Zelman, Logistics Coordinator
Conservation Corps North Carolina Raleigh, NC Jan Pender, Program Director
Southeast Conservation Corps Chattanooga, TN Lindsey Agee, Recruitment Coordinator Matthew Cottam, Individual Placements Coord James Gasaway, Program Coordinator Brenna Kelly, Corps Director
Southwest Conservation Corps Durango and Salida, Co Morgan Brandenburg, Outreach Manager Richard Brown, Logistics Coordinator Jordan Burningham, Program Director Teresa DiTore, Youth Programs Manager Eric Falk, Program Coordinator Kevin Heiner, Corps Director Emily Kasyon, Watershed Program Coordinator Roseann McDermott, Grants & Agreement Mgr Clara Moulton, IP Program Coordinator Katy Olson, Administrative Manager Cassandra Owen, BLM AIM Coordinator
Allison Burdick, Engagement Coordinator Theodore Combos, Program Coordinator Christy Curd, Program Coordinator Rhea Johnson, Program Coordinator Spencer Lynch, Program Coordinator Rebecca McCormick, Member Admin Manager Katie Nemmer, Program Coordinator Krista Rogers, Program Director Joey Ruehrwein, National Director of Partnerships Emma Savely, Program Manager Patricia Silva, Program Coordinator Ryan Tant, Program Coordinator Hilary Webster, Engagement Coordinator John-Micheal Aurednik, VISTA Program Coord Lisa Callahan, Business Manager April Elkins, Corps Director Judy England, Administrative Assistant Shanna Gray, Partnership Manager Joshua Jones, VISTA Development Coordinator Caroline Smith, VISTA Program Director Adrian Uzunian, Program Director
Regional Staff Gail Loveland Barille, Executive Director, Eastern Paul Schmidt, Executive Director, Western
Central Staff Durango, Co Stacey Alfandre, Director of Funding Admin Jennifer Bartlett, Sr Director of HR and Dev Vanessa Begay, Accounts Payable Specialist Suzanne Blue, Office Assistant Jennifer Buckner, Executive Assistant AJ Cheripka, Admissions Coordinator Rose Clements, Program Communications Mgr Jeff Davis, Admissions Manager Mat Esalio, Grants Finance Manager Jennifer Hayden, Payroll and Personnel Coord David Hiss, IT Support Coordinator Daniel Laubscher, Accounting Technician Teresa Malone, Chief Administrative Officer Michael Meredith, Training Specialist Andrea Mosher, Accountant Alyssa Murray, HR Manager Jenna Rosengren, Communications Director Hilary Simpson, Accounts Receivable Specialist Jay Snowdon, Business Operations Coordinator Amy Sovocool, Chief External Affairs Officer Rob Spath, Chief Programs Officer Michael Swanberg, Field Operations Director Belinda Villanueva, Controller Amber Wong, Digital Content Coordinator
At All Staff 2019, we asked staff what's your favorite project? What's your biggest achievement? What are you looking forward to?
10 Years of All Staff Gathering!