Fostering conservation service in support of communities and ecosystems.
20 YEARS OF CONSERVATION AND SERVICE.
Ancestral Lands 'Connecting Utah Native American Youth to National Parks' hiking club members enjoying public lands in the Southwest.
Local action. Enduring impact.
TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 Program Profiles 5 2018 Impact 7 Women in Conservation 9 10 Years of Ancestral Lands Programming 11 Corps to Fire 13 Community Volunteer Ambassadors 15 Montezuma Inspire Coalition 17 Love Your Park 19 All Hands on Deck: Disaster Response 21 The Future of Historic Preservation 22 Philâ€™s World 23 Partners in Service
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.
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.
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 national 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 2018 and look forward to what 2019 will bring.
provides support for local conservation service programs under the leadership of a national organization, delivering high quality programming in communities across the country to produce enduring impact through local action.
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 collaboration with partners across the country, Conservation Legacy advances the goals of increasing opportunities in conservation, stewardship, national service and workforce development.
Many thanks to the people who have contributed to this report with their stats, stories, photos and words: Rose Clements, Kevin Heiner, Chas Robles, Shandiin Nez, Natalia Muglia, Olivia Gagliardi, Megan Fitzgerald, Cody Milihram, Brett Clement, Michael Persaud, Ami McAlpin, Allison Molinar, Sarah Hamilton, Tyrell DeClay, Michael Swanberg, Jonathan Templeton, Ann Pritzlaff, Teresa DiTore, Alyssa Murray, Amy Sovocool and more. 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, thank you for your hard work and selfless dedication, nothing would be possible without YOU.
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.
With reverence and respect, we acknowledge the indigenous land on which our program offices are located: Acoma Pueblo Cherokee Cheyenne Chiricahua Apache Hopi Mescalero Apache Moneton Monocan Navajo Pueblo Salish Kootenai Tohono Oâ€™odham Ute White Mountain Apache Yuchi Zuni
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
“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
Ancestral Lands Ten years of Native Youth leading their nations back to ecological and cultural well-being
Rooted in the culture
and heritage of local tribal communities, the power and impact of Ancestral Lands programming is due to the community investment and support for each program combined with the network of operational support from Conservation Legacy and its partners. Ancestral Lands supports local offices operating crews directly connected with tribal communities, external corps programs implementing Native crews and VISTA placements working to develop new programs where there is interest and need. The Ancestral Lands program has significant impacts on the individuals that participate in the program and the communities in which work is done. Participants learn about their history and the significance of the places they work and strengthen connections to their ancestors, culture, language, and traditions. All participants participate in technical skills trainings that help prepare them for service projects. This training can include chainsaw training, wilderness first aid, CPR and leadership development. This program has helped individuals find their voice, create community and develop communication, leadership and job skills needed for a successful future. The Ancestral Lands program was created in 2008 in the Pueblo of Acoma when Southwest Conservation Corps launched its first fully Native American crew. Since then, the Acoma program has employed over 300 local youth, has impacted over 400 overall and has brought in over $800,000 9
in living stipends to a community of 4,989 with very little in the way of job opportunities. This program become the foundation for Conservation Legacyâ€™s Ancestral Lands programming. In 2013, the first Navajo crews began operating in Arizona. In 2014, through a partnership with La Plazita Institute based in Albuquerqueâ€™s South Valley neighborhood, Southwest Conservation Corps started crew based Ancestral Lands programming. That same year, the foundation for the Zuni program was created and officially launched in 2015. In 2016, Ancestral Lands began a program in Hopi, in partnership with Adventures for Hopi and Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute. Ancestral Lands programming has also been replicated by Arizona Conservation Corps, Stewards Individual Placement Program and in partnership other organizations around the country. It was another incredible year for Ancestral Lands. A total of 301 Native American youth and young adults were engaged through crew and individual placement programming. In wages, salaries, AmeriCorps Education Awards and living allowances alone, the Ancestral Lands program has provided over two million dollars in economic development throughout Indian Country in the fiscal year 2018.
Sheldon Tenorio: Crew Member of the Year Sheldon has been an exemplary crew leader with Southwest Conservation Corps’ Ancestral Lands program. Now in his third AmeriCorps term, he has shown a commitment to the success of the program, as well as sincere dedication to empowering Native American youth to make a positive impact on the land, their communities and in their own lives. In 2018, Sheldon led some of the most successful crews for the Ancestral Lands program, consistently receiving high praise from partners for their accomplishments. Among other efforts, his crews worked on habitat restoration, trail maintenance and community outreach and engagement. His project in partnership with the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, NM has helped to expand the Refuge’s definition of conservation and environmentalism to include the voices of people of color, people from low socio-economic backgrounds and people whose voices have historically been excluded from the conservation narrative. Sheldon plans to stay with the Ancestral Lands program for a while longer to help create more opportunities for Native American youth. He hopes to one day start a corps program out of the Kewa Pueblo.
Chris Honahnie Chris Honahnie served as a Stewards VISTA member in collaboration with the Ancestral Lands program. He has certainly made an impact in his community. Building on his previous national service experience, Chris supported all three of his supporting organizations to engage and empower the community. Under the Ancestral Lands VISTA initiative, Chris and 11 other Native individuals were tasked with engaging local communities in the hope of establishing satellite Ancestral Lands crews. His service site was based out of an urban area (Tucson, AZ), and he worked tirelessly to learn about conservation corps programming, the area’s public lands and their needs and connected with the local community
Evidence of this hard work was seen in the many public events Chris supported. As a skilled speaker, he addressed large groups at events like the Arizona Serve’s Regional Issues Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and smaller groups, such as the students at Pascua Yaqui High School. Additionally, Chris has attended local tribal meetings with both the O’odham and Yaqui communities. He took these opportunities to share his experience and to engage others who may one day be the leaders of local change. With so much hard work and his unfailing determination, it is no surprise that Chris’s efforts have been noticed. In April, he was awarded the Mayor’s Award and a Congressional Recognition Certificate from Tucson Mayor Rothschild and Pima County Supervisor Jonathan Valdez for exemplary service.
The Ancestral Lands program
evolves and adapts to meet the needs of those it serves, and those who serve through it. Because of the selflessly dedicated and innovative program and field leadership staff, the future already holds incredible potential. We are excited that the Navajo program has two accomplished and dynamic women at the helm. The Hopi program is growing quickly and finding deserved support
in new partners and funders. We will run our very first Ancestral Lands Veterans Fire Corps crew in 2019. We look forward to meaningfully engaging our partners in caring for the earth through conservation, restoration and preservation projects We’re ready to continue the hard work towards progress in supporting indigenous communities and ecosystems.
2018 AWARDS AND RECOGNITION 2018 SH/FT ADVENTURE ATHLETE Marshall Masayesva, Program Coordinator Ancestral Lands Hopi 2018 SH/FT EMERGING LEADER Shonto Greyeyes, Program Coordinator Ancestral Lands Navajo TUCSON MAYOR’S AWARD AND CONGRESSIONAL RECOGNITION Chris Honahnie, Ancestral Lands VISTA FORT LEWIS COLLEGE ALUMNI FELLOW: ADVENTURE ED Marshall Masayesva, Program Coordinator Ancestral Lands Hopi WESTERN RESOURCE ADVOCATES EMERGING LEADER Marshall Masayesva, Program Coordinator Ancestral Lands Hopi
fence, did some minor trail work, and, very significantly, spent 14 days on a fire assignment to California,” stated Dan Huisjen, Fuels Specialist with the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests.
Corps to Fire Conservation service work—a proven and successful path to wildland fire careers
Crews are often involved with fire fuels mitigation work and Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) projects— the work that is also done by wildland fire crews before and after a fire. Crews work alongside project partners from federal and state land management agencies, the same agencies that are looking to hire wildland firefighters. In addition, our programs offer resources and support, such as assistance with job applications, opportunities to obtain additional certifications needed to be competitive, AmeriCorps Education Awards and leadership development.
2018 highlights Conservation Legacy has
a long history of creating opportunities for young people and veterans and operates several unique and innovative programs beyond traditional trail crews and individual placements that are designed to support the career path from corps to wildland fire employment. These programs are both replicable and scaleable, and are operated in partnership with federal agencies and other corps organizations.
suppression of active wildfires. Many of today’s fires are burning along the wildland urban interface, the area between unoccupied land and human development, creating a need for efforts to ensure community safety. These, combined with the frequency and intensity of modern day wildfires, have resulted in high demand for wildland firefighters—by no means an easy job—with opportunities present through federal and state land management agencies as well as private contractors.
The tradition of conservation service work as a large scale benefit to Americans and the land was cemented in our history through the Civilian Conservation Corps during its operation from 1933-1942. The idea of conservation service work has evolved through the years to accommodate the needs of modern society and our environment, and continues to provide millions of opportunities to Americans in service to their country and communities.
Conservation Legacy programs have proven to be an effective pipeline for those interested in pursuing this line of work. Corps programs are similar in structure to wildland fire crews, working and living outdoors with little amenities for extended periods of time and functioning as a team to accomplish projects in challenging environments. These programs also provide similar training and work, using the same tools as many wildland fire crews.
Simultaneously, wildland firefighting has also evolved, from full suppression through the 20th Century, to modern efforts, which include the much more proactive and ecologically sensitive methods of fire fuels mitigation and prescribed burns, along with the management and intentional
“The Southwest Conservation Corps crew did great work throughout the season and was willing to do lots of different things for us. They not only built fire line for prescribed burns and thinned stands to reduce fuels and enhance stand health but they helped gather rails for a
Veterans Fire Corps (VFC): The VFC aims to engage recent era Veterans on priority hazardous fuels projects while developing the next generation of wildland firefighters. This year, two pilot crews are working for the first time with the National Park Service in the West, in addition to the longstanding program with the US Forest Service, offering more opportunities and exposure for veterans in fire. Southeast Conservation Corps ran its inaugural VFC crew, resulting in 100% post-program job placement. Over 400 veterans have served since 2011. Wyoming Women’s Fire Corps: Operated for the first time in 2017, the Wyoming Women’s Fire Corps, a collaboration between the Bureau of Land Management, Montana Conservation Corps and Conservation Legacy, was the recipient of The Corps Network’s 2018 Project of the Year Award. Long-term Adult Fire Crew: 2018 brought a new program with Southwest Conservation Corps, aimed at providing a pathway to fire employment for nonveterans, in partnership with the San Juan National Forest outside Durango, Colorado.
Meet Brett Brett Clement is an Alumni of the Veterans Fire Corps and served on projects with the National Park Service. “I came to VFC searching for something meaningful. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t content. 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.” Meet Meghan
Meghan Fitzgerald is an Alumni of Southwest Conservation Corps and now works with on a Helitack Crew in Yellowstone National Park.
Cody Milihram is an Alumni of Southwest Conservation Corps on a Type IA Hand Crew with ArapahoRoosevelt National Forest.
“It’s hard work—working 16-plus hours, cutting and digging line, burning; but it’s so much fun. I’ve pushed myself to limits I didn’t know I could. Most of the people in this industry are so wonderful and I’ve made great, lasting relationships with them. There are a lot of people to look up to, especially some really admirable women.
“My time with Southwest Conservation Corps definitely help facilitate a wildland fire position. After my initial three month term on a summer crew I was offered an internship on a US Forest Service wilderness trails crew. Not only did that allow me to get my foot in the door with a federal organization, but I also was able to see a little bit more of the “fire world”.
I love working for the National Park Service. Working in wildland fire is awesome and getting to ride around in helicopters and fighting fire is an amazing experience. I like the structure fire gives my life and I enjoy the work we do. Southwest Conservation Corps helped me get into this industry by giving me the experience I needed on the saw and working in conservation made me into a good crew member which, is paramount when working with the same people for 21 days. I think conservation is a humbling way to get into fire and would recommend it to anyone.”
I am now on an Initial Attack squad out of Fort Collins, Colorado with the US Forest Service. Fire has been probably one of the toughest things I’ve done. But, I am a firm believer in embracing challenges. Human beings need struggle and hard times in order to grow. An extreme and difficult situation forces those in it to look deep within themselves and really figure out who they are and what they’re about—all in a very honest way that is rare in how a lot of us operate. Hiking up a steep slope gets right to it all, no nonsense. As for everything else with the job how could cutting down trees, burning things, camping and working out not be tremendous?”
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 maybe a bit forcibly 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 semi-bathed in the already freezing September waters as Ashlee grew bored on the bridge above us. Then 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.”
Community Volunteer Ambassadors Partnering to create a skilled and diverse workforce of future leaders and stewards of natural and cultural resources and communities The Community
2018 CVA AT A GLANCE: 52 Community Volunteer Ambassadors 47,131 volunteer hours $1,163,664 value of volunteer hours 252 active partnerships 244 volunteers involved with veterans groups 1,426 volunteers involved with deferred maintenance
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. 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. The Community Volunteer Ambassador positions can be powerful catalysts in professional development. Experiences like these are truly transformative. They instill life skills and character traits that build on one another, strengthen over time, and foster optimal advancement and an ethic of service. Conservation Legacy and the National Park Service are partnering to create a skilled and diverse workforce who are educated and active citizens, future leaders, and stewards of natural and cultural resources and communities. In 2018 the Stewards Individual Placement Program placed 52 members across the country, and are making preparations for a
similar amount of 2019 placements.
Meet Micheal Michael Persaud was born in South America in the country of Guyana. As a young child he migrated to New York City and has lived in the borough of Queens since. He served as a 2018 Community Volunteer Ambassador. He found his passion for storytelling soon after and enrolled in college to study the art of the motion picture. After receiving his first degree in Film and freelancing in the independent film industry, he realized that he wanted to continue his education in another field he was passion about; history. Michael returned to complete his second degree studying Public History and walked away with a deep understanding of the capabilities in merging both film and history, utilizing the power of storytelling, to spark change in the world by implementing the lessons of the past. Michael has been an integral part of a brand new partnership between the National Park Service (NPS) and St. John’s University (SJU) in developing an accredited internship program that recruits and trains interns for research and interpretive programs in metropolitan New York City. Michael has taken the lead in not only the development of the program but also implementation which has required him to work directly with the partners and the program’s interns.
The initial phase of the five-year program focuses on the provision of interns for Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration and the Trails and Rails Program administered by NPS and Amtrak. The new partnership program will help students majoring or specializing in history, library and information science, museum administration and other academic programs gain insight into the mission of NPS and the role the agency plays in the cultural life of the nation. They will learn how NPS helps New York City residents and visitors establish a personal connection to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, African Burial Ground National Monument, Stonewall National Monument, and other sites. In addition to receiving training allowing them to serve as site historical interpreters, students will also have a chance to work under the supervision of NPS staff and SJU faculty to research and develop new content for NPS programs. This unique partnership is a great example of how our members go above and beyond in the service they provide to their individual sites and communities. Persaud recently started a project to extract stories from volunteers on why they do what they do. The responses were intimate and optimistic. “The stories from these individuals made me realize why I wanted to work at the National Parks in the first place
and that I am surrounded by people who are out to make a difference in any way that they can. These are the people I wanted around growing up—like minded folks that can change the world by doing the little things. And here I am today, surrounded by them. Knowing that I coordinate the activities of this group of volunteers makes me realize that I am in a unique position in providing them a platform,” remarked Persaud.
“I am surrounded by people who are out to make a difference.” At present, he remains at the National Park Service and is finishing up a degree in the study of Social History; amplifying the voices of those that have been silenced in the past and in some cases, to this day. Themes of his current thesis includes colonialism, race, identity, pluralism and social mobility. Michael strongly believes in interlinking the analysis of his studies with the National Park Service as it is no secret that there is a current and prominent struggle to increase diversity and promote inclusion. He understands that he is a part of that process and in a unique position to open doors for generations to come. 14
Every Kid in Every Zip: access to the great outdoors Collective impact in Colorado’s Montezuma County through the Montezuma Inspire Coalition
In 2018, after two years of
community planning and the engagement of many dedicated people and support from local organizations, the Montezuma Inspire Coalition (MIC) was awarded a 1.8 million dollar three-year implementation grant through the Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative. Great Outdoors Colorado created the Inspire Initiative to encourage youth and their families to connect to the outdoors by establishing places for kids and families to play, providing culturally relevant programs that build off of one another, and creating pathways to outdoor stewardship jobs and leadership roles. Unique local partnerships are creating access to the outdoors for youth through collective efforts, bringing community and youth driven projects to fruition throughout Colorado. This innovative framework is being looked to as a national model, and each coalition’s approach will serve as examples to other rural, urban, suburban, or mountain communities across the country. Since its founding in 2015, the Montezuma Inspire Coalition has been working to overcome the barriers to outdoor experiences for youth in Montezuma County, Colorado. The coalition is made up of about 18 15
different community partners—non profits, school districts and other organizations, including Southwest Conservation Corps. Partners are engaging in a networked leadership approach to collective impact work. The receipt of this funding signifies a very different approach taken by Southwest Conservation Corps to fund its local youth programs as a strategic priority. Rather than soliciting federal partners with a fee for service revenue development model to create projects, Southwest Conservation Corps has engaged in a coalition-driven effort to support local community priorities. This work has been incredibly rewarding.
“We’re not just inspiring the next generation of land stewards, we’re working towards healing a community’s relationship with open space.” Together, with local stakeholders, MIC builds and maintains outdoor learning labs and school gardens, creates jobs and internships for local youth and offers a wide variety of programming to help develop a connection to the outdoors. The idea is to create a system where youth are engaged beginning in preschool and empowered through high school and beyond with age-appropriate outdoor curriculum and program activities in and out of the school setting. In 2018, MIC supported 44 total programs with 112 weeks of programming. Over 1,300 youth and young adults participated across Montezuma County. “I truly believe we have the opportunity to reach every kid in every zip with the message of how transformative connection to the outdoors can be and how empowering it is to experience the healing properties of nature. When kids tell us about how they feel about their work, their time with our
programming partners and what they’ve accomplished, we hear the pride and we feel their enthusiasm. We’re not just inspiring the next generation of land stewards, we’re working towards healing a community’s relationship with open space,” states Ami McAlpin, coordinator for the Montezuma Inspire Coalition. The purpose of the grant is to connect local kids to the outdoors through the development of locally created and operated programs, expansion of Southwest Conservation Corps pathways programming and the improvement of local public outdoors places. In 2018, Southwest Conservation Corps placed two high school interns, facilitated an expanded and improved middle school Farm Corps Service Learning Crew program and developed a local high school Community Development Crew. “I am so satisfied when I’m hand-weeding and I can feel the whole root being pulled out.” youth participant Celia Bweno-Valdez reflects. “I also like seeing the big project we just did completed and looking so amazing.” Working with the Montezuma Inspire Coalition, Southwest Conservation Corps was able to double its offering of local youth programming in just one year, from 2017 to 2018. The coalition also provided the necessary resources for Southwest Conservation Corps to focus on and prioritize the needs of Montezuma County youth.
Valuable partnerships have been further developed with the Montezuma Land Conservancy, Montezuma School to Farm Project, the City of Cortez and the Wildfire Adapted Partnership. New partnerships have been galvanized with the OMNI Institute, The School Community Youth Collaborative, Team Up, the Medicine Horse Center and Dolores River Boating Advocates.
SCC FOUR CORNERS 2018 YOUTH PROGRAMMING 35 paid opportunities for local youth ages 14–18 5,707 hours worked on conservation and community service projects 10 miles of trail maintained 252 active partnerships 612 square feet of crops planted 105 acres improved
Love Your Park Rebuilding the legacy of our National Parks in partnership with the National Park Foundation
Exposure to the beauty and 2018 LYP AT A GLANCE: 9,189 total project hours 8,552 AmeriCorps service hours 637 unpaid volunteer hours 114 total participants: 63 community volunteers 51 AmeriCorps crew members 73 miles of trail constructed or maintained 11 partnerships engaged
splendor of National Parks can ignite a lifelong 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. This year, 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. The LYPCC focused on infrastructure and stewardship projects at Shenandoah National Park, Natchez Trace National Parkway and National Scenic Trail, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park. Three of Conservation Legacy’s programs took part in the program—Arizona Conservation Corps, Appalachian Conservation Corps, and Southeast Conservation Corps. Engaging local youth in LYPCC brought new faces and diversity to existing partnerships and parks, facilitating opportunities for ongoing collaboration. The LYPCC
added additional capacity for volunteer engagement in local communities through the Love Your Park Liaison, a position created on each Love Your Park crew, designed to support volunteerism and engage the local communities. 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. Through our collective impact, we were able to bring 50 known first time park visitors together for volunteer project work.
Glen Canyon In October 2018, ten seventh and eighth graders from Page Middle School along with their chaperones and Grand Canyon Youth guides volunteered to help Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC) with invasive species removal in Glen Canyon. Tamarisk, also known as Salt Cedar, follows the edge of the Colorado River. First introduced to this area to help prevent erosion, Tamarisk brought with it more problems. Not only does it affect the salinity of the soil, but it also grows at a rapid rate of 11 miles a year in dense clusters giving native plants almost no opportunity to grow. The Tamarisk Leaf Beetle was brought to Moab, Utah to try to control the outbreak
This crew worked through hurricane weather in the park, and despite evacuations and park closures, they were still able to accomplish their work and host their volunteer event in the park with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. Between the two groups, many different people from all walks of life came together to care for their park. The crew was also given the opportunity to shadow backcountry rangers, exploring new career opportunities.
of this tree. The beetle made its way down the Colorado and left behind a trail of dead Tamarisk. So with the help of these young volunteers, Arizona Conservation Corps was recruited by the Park Service to clean up Lunch Beach so the area could be restored with native species. These student volunteers were hand chosen by their science teachers, “We chose the kids that we thought took to science, but really needed to come out of their shells. We wanted this to be a catalyst for them not only for their interest in science, but socially as well” said Pam Egan, one of the PMS science teachers and chaperones on this trip. Yet, these students were not shy if anything they were ready to work! They worked together taking down whole trees and clearing off dead limbs. “We need to make room for more things to grow,” Kaydance, one of the eager volunteers said.
“I’ve never done anything like this before!” Within a six-hour work day the volunteers helped get AZCC to within almost 100ft of their goal. AZCC had been striving towards this goal all week and finished it off with chainsaws and handsaws the following Sunday and Monday. “It feels good to help,” said Tyler, one of the seventh-grade
volunteers, “I’ve never done anything like this before!” Not only were these volunteers excited to take down Tamarisk, but they were also interested in learning about native animals in the area. Shandiin Tallman, one of the rangers that helped with the Lunch Beach Project brought along with her a bat pole. “Glen Canyon National Park has been more and more interested in its bat population and what species of bats are in the canyon, “ Shandiin explained, “ especially because of the outbreak of White-nose bat syndrome.” Shandiin let the kids help set up the bat pole and recording device giving the kids a hands-on experience to hear bats up close. Along with this she was able to teach the students how important bats are to this ecosystem. With the help of Page Middle School, Grand Canyon Youth and the National Park Service these ambitious teens were able to explore and understand how important Glen Canyon is. Now with their help Lunch Beach is on its way toward restoration for the future. Toby, one of the eighth grade volunteers, is planning on visiting Lunch Beach again in the future, “it’s important to preserve this area and keep it beautiful so we can continue to enjoy it!”
Shenandoah Appalachian Conservation Corps’ LYP crew began two months of work constructing trail features and maintaining sections of Appalachian Trail connectors.
“I am leaving Shenandoah National Park having gained work experience, friendships and amazing memories that will stay with me forever. I believe the rest of my crew would say the same,” said Allison Molinar, Love Your Park Liaison for Appalachian Conservation Corps. “I have always loved the outdoors but working in a National Park and seeing a different side of nature has opened my eyes to the many ways to give back to the environment. Whether you join a conservation corps, pick up trash in your neighborhood, educate someone about outdoor ethics, or just go for a hike and respect the world around you, you are making a difference and contributing to the growth and future of our natural world.”
Petrified Forest “Our project was working on a trail that connected a few hundred yards of uncut trail. Our trail was the only trail constructed in the past 75 years—the Civilian Conservation Corps was the only previous crew to work on the Petrified Forest National Park’s trail system. We hosted a volunteer event, picking up trash at the Park’s south entrance. Afterwards we were taken on a guided tour to a trail made by the Civilian Conservation Corps. We built 1,324 feet of trail that day. The construction was long and hard, the crew itself working though single digit temperatures and cold bitter winds that brought some snow and rain. Overall the staff of the park love the trail that was built. We still get updates from our project partners on how the trail is doing!” reflects Tyrell DeClay, assistant crew leader for Arizona Conservation Corps, of his Love Your Park project in Petrified Forest National Park.
All hands on deck Over a decade of disaster response and recovery in communities across the United States
has been offering crews for deployment on federal disaster relief projects since Southwest Conservation Corps mobilized and dispatched a crew in 2006 for two weeks in response to tornadoes in Florida and six crews for 25 weeks on the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In 2018, our programs have deployed crews from all of our crew-based programs, including Appalachian Conservation Corps, Arizona Conservation Corps, Conservation Corps New Mexico, Southeast Conservation Corps and Southwest Conservation Corps, including a multi-crew deployment to Puerto Rico. In total, 18 crews and four staff were sent on disaster response projects to five separate disasters in six states and territories. We are proud and humbled to be part of a larger community of corps programs, uniting to put in the hard work where we are needed most. Our crew members, who complete diverse conservation projects, are well suited to for disaster response activities. The skills learned from erosion control, tree planting, trail building, fencing, invasive species management and fire mitigation are easily transferable to disaster response needs. Crews are accustomed to working long days with little amenities and creature comforts and have the teamwork and camaraderie to perform self-sufficiently in tough situations. Corps training allows
them to be effective from the moment their boots hit the ground and crew members are well versed in safety procedures, as the nature of their daily work demands it. “Disaster Relief is providing service to people who need help after a disaster has happened who don’t really have the resources to get back on their feet,” reflects crew member Madalyn Doty, “I think I will remember most the crew memories. One, the work we’ve been doing and the way we’ve been helping people, but also the time we’ve been able to spend together and develop a strong crew bond.” Conservation Legacy programs are active members of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT), supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, leveraging program resources to assist communities in disaster relief and recovery. A-DRT programs have a heightened focus and commitment to disaster response, engage in activities and trainings year round, are a nationally deployable resource and are recognized as leaders in the emergency management community. Project capabilities include mass care and shelter operations, mucking and gutting, debris clean-up, mold suppression, hazard tree removal, public lands and infrastructure restoration, volunteer reception center management, field leadership, needs assessment and case management.
"It's the first thing in my life that I’ve done that feels completely worthwhile.”
-Clara Lerchi, Southwest Conservation Corps
Dispatch: Puerto Rico During the summer, Southwest Conservation Corps sent five crews to Puerto Rico on a disaster relief deployment earlier this year. They treated seven rooms for mold, provided needs assessments for 35 homes, removed one ton of debris and repaired 22 roofs over the course of a month. Jonathan Templeton, a crew member serving during the deployment, writes of the experience: “Working with the Southwest Conservation Corps has truly been a defining moment in my life. My crew and another crew were chosen to travel to Puerto Rico for a month to work with the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team. I was excited and apprehensive when I first learned that we were being sent on disaster relief but I’m extremely happy and grateful that we were able to go. In Puerto Rico, my crew was tasked with repairing damaged roofs and conducting mold remediation for homes affected by the storm. Personally, I felt like the work we were doing in Puerto Rico was very fulfilling and eye opening. We were able to work with homeowners and victims of the storm directly and really understand the conditions of the island and witness firsthand the kindness, perseverance, and tenacity of the people living there. We were able to make a positive impact and help people that experienced so much adversity from the storm. The work was difficult and the days tended to be long but it was one of the best experiences of my life.”
The future of historic preservation The Historic Preservation Training Center and Preserve America Youth Summits lead the way with dynamic historic preservation programs Historic Preservation Training Center
Preserve America Youth Summits
The Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC) and Stewards Individual Placement Program partnership provides training and experience for individuals interested in the historic preservation trades. Since the HPTC is part of the National Park Service, members gain skills while helping to preserve the historic structures, monuments, and memorials throughout the park system. Stewards members generally focus in one area of maintenance throughout their term—masonry, carpentry, or woodcrafting—and learn these skills from NPS professionals. In 2018, the HPTC program placed 55 participants.
The Preserve America Youth Summit program provides an opportunity for young people aged 13 to 18 to get out of the classroom and into the field to learn about National Parks, history, archaeology, heritage tourism, preservation and undertake service projects. In 2018, Conservation Legacy presented three Preserve America Youth Summits engaging students and teachers in programming advancing youth engagement in service, stewardship conservation and historic preservation.
Through three signature programs—the Veteran Trades Apprenticeship Program, the Traditional Trades Youth Initiative and the Preservation Work Experience—the HPTC and Stewards are helping to train a future workforce in specialized building trades and historic preservation while also completing deferred maintenance projects throughout the national park system. In 2018, the Historic Preservation Training Center and Stewards Individual Placement Program have begun the Veteran Trades Apprenticeship (VTAP) program, specifically providing post-9/11 veterans training and experience in the maintenance and care of federal monuments and memorials. Throughout this program, apprentices develop marketable skills and receive excellent exposure to the historic preservation career field. The Stewards Individual Placement Program placed 8 VTAP members in 2018. 19
The highlight of the 2018 Summits was the Colorado Preserve America Youth Summit featuring Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti NRA. The four-day program curriculum featured over 40 hours of programming. Notable highlights were the critique of the exhibits at the South Rim of Black Canyon; learning about the International Night Sky designation and a service project removing invasive species. The Summit concluded with a Town Hall where students presented to community and National Park Service leaders. Over 80 students and teachers attended. Participants were challenged to provide ideas throughout the Summit. These young people’s unfiltered ideas and 21st Century frame of reference brought helpful enthusiasm and knowledge to assist in updating programming and experiences for National Park Service units and the community.
Epic community partnerships equal epic outdoor recreation A collaboration between the Bureau of Land Management, Southwest Conservation Corps and the Southwest Colorado Cycling Association
The Phil’s World Mountain Bike
Trail System, located just outside Cortez, Colorado, has gone through many iterations over the years. The original route was constructed by a local, appropriately named Phil. The trail in its current form exists on a mix of Bureau of Land Management and Colorado State Trust Land, part of the Cortez Special Recreation Management Area, providing benefits associated with non-motorized trail opportunities. In a state chock full of epic trails, Phil’s World is consistently ranked with the best and it is expected to continue to support additional tourism in the greater Cortez area.
Cortez’s poverty rate is nearly 22%, rising significantly above the national average. In Montezuma County, childhood poverty is also a concern. The economy in Cortez depends highly on tourism, and much of that occurs on public lands. Utilizing Southwest Conservation Corps crews to work on this project and the surrounding area also provides opportunities for local young adults to serve their community, earn a living stipend and AmeriCorps Education Award and follow pathways to careers in outdoor-based fields. It has taken nearly four years of planning and preparing to put tools in the ground for the latest expansion of Phil's World—a new section of trail dubbed ‘Poquito Burrito’, a 2.25 mile long technical trail through beautiful southern Colorado scenery. The final decisions on where new trails are being constructed have been a multi-agency project taking into account the cultural resources, wildlife and community in the area. The trail was designed to provide a
buffer around sensitive wildlife areas, have a maximum corridor of 6 feet, limit ground and vegetation disturbance and include interpretive signage. Southwest Conservation Corps crew leaders began the project, digging the tread and laying the route in a sustainable way that respects the natural resources nearby. Erosion control structures and low impact trail building methods were used throughout the project. This project is exemplary of how land management agencies and organizations can partner to work successfully with communities, implementing projects through processes that factor all stakeholders into the final decision and take into account the needs of all. Southwest Conservation Corps had the great opportunity to join many local groups who have worked on Phil’s World—past and present—to help build and maintain a truly unique trail network and provide a lasting resource for the local community. 20
Partners in Service
Southeast Conservation Corps Youth Crew participants working in Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park.
National service is at the heart of Conservation Legacy and its programs and we are proud to be partners and supporters of: The Corporation for National and Community Service AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams Engaging young adults in intensive community service work with the goal of meeting the critical needs of the community and environment, we are proud to partner with AmeriCorps, providing service opportunities to young adults across the country. AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Members commit their time to address critical community needs like increasing academic achievement, mentoring youth, fighting poverty, sustaining national parks, preparing for disasters and more. The Corps Network Conservation Legacy is a proud member of The Corps Network, providing critical leadership to the corps movement and to the nation’s service and conservation corps as they tackle some of America’s greatest challenges. Voices for National Service Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of national and local service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who work together to ensure Americans of all ages have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their communities. Conservation Legacy is proud to be a member of the Voices for National Service Steering Committee.
Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Conservation Legacy provides strategic leadership to support the Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC), with the primary goal of providing leadership to expand and deepen the impact of corps work. The 21CSC is a bold national effort to put thousands of young American’s and veterans to work protecting, restoring and enhancing America’s great outdoors and cultural and community resources. The program is operated through a publicprivate partnership between government, industry, non-profit and community organizations, working together to foster the next generation of community leaders and resource stewards. Conservation Legacy is proud to be a leader of the 21CSC movement. The Public Lands Service Coalition Founded in 2009 by The Corps Network, Conservation Legacy and the Student Conservation Association, the Public Lands Service Coalition (PLSC) is an unincorporated coalition of more than 40 Conservation Corps and other organizations that promote youth and veteran engagement in stewardship of the Great Outdoors. The PLSC promotes and supports efforts to expand youth service on public and tribal lands and waters, with the goal that this service leads to careers in natural resource management and the development of the next generation of environmental stewards.
WE ARE DEEPLY THANKFUL FOR THE SUPPORT AND DEDICATION OF OUR CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS
Andrew Moore, Chair Enrique Figueroa, Vice Chair Loretta Pineda, Secretary Karen Rudolph, Treasurer Ann Baker-Easley Robert Burkhardt Nelson Cronyn Larry Hand Cornell Torivio Philan Tree Dawnafe Whitesinger Stephany Wu Elwood York
701 Camino del Rio #101 Durango, CO (970) 259-8607
Appalachian Conservation Corps
1567 CF Pours Drive Harrisonburg, VA 22802 (540) 246-9224
Arizona Conservation Corps
Tucson Office 1443 W Prince Rd Tucson, AZ 85705 (520) 884-5550
Flagstaff Office 2500 North Rose Street, Ste 101 Flagstaff, AZ 86004 (928) 526-3280
White Mountains Office 1892 Pine Lake Road Pinetop, AZ 85935 (928) 207-0744
Conservation Corps New Mexico
512 North Valley Drive Las Cruces, NM 88005 (575) 640-8540
Southeast Conservation Corps
2001 N. Chamberlain Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37406 (423) 664-2344
Stewards Individual Placements
Stewards East 115 S. Kanawha St Beckley, WV 25801 (304) 252-4848
Stewards West 701 Camino del Rio #101 Durango, CO (970) 259-8607
Southwest Conservation Corps
Ancestral Lands Acoma PO Box 208 San Fidel, NM 87049 (505) 552-4084
Ancestral Lands Navajo 506 W. Hwy 66 #12 Gallup, NM 87301 (505) 870-4810
Ancestral Lands Zuni 67 Route 301 N. P.O. Box 203
Four Corners Region 701 Camino del Rio #101 Durango, CO (970) 259-8607
Los Valles Region 701 E. Hwy 50 Salida, CO 81201 (719) 539-2438