CONSERVATION LEGACY FY2021 REPORT NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
HEADER INTRODUCTION TABLE OF CONTENTS CONTACT INFORMATION
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
CONSERVATION LEGACY OVERVIEW
DEMOGRAPHICS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
PROGRAM & PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
PARTICIPANT AND PARTNER EXPERIENCE
page twenty-five CONCLUSION
page twenty-six APPENDIX A: PRESS AND MEDIA
APPENDIX B: PROJECTS
APPENDIX C: OTHER DOI PROGRAMS
APPENDIX D: HIGHER ED RECRUITMENT
APPENDIX E: FUNDING
APPENDIX F: DEMOGRAPHICS
CONSERVATION LEGACY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE FY2019 REPORT Report Term: October 2020–September 2021 CONTACT INFO FOR CONSERVATION LEGACY: Ron Hassel, Development Director 701 Camino del Rio, Suite 101 Durango, Colorado 81301 Email: email@example.com Phone: 970.749.3960
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Conservation Legacy would like to thank the National Park Service staff, Cooperators and Partners who make our shared vision, mission and programming a continued success. We absolutely could not positively impact these individuals, communities, and treasured places without you! NPS STAFF AND UNITS: NPS Washington Office NPS Youth Programs NPS Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program NPS Historic Preservation Training Center Region 1 North Atlantic Appalachian Region 2 South Atlantic Gulf Region 3 Great Lakes Region 4 Mississippi Basin Region 5 Missouri Basin Region 6 Arkansas Rio Grande Texas Gulf Region 7 Upper Colorado Basin Region 8 Lower Colorado Basin Region 9 Colombia Pacific Northwest Region 10 California Great Basin Region 11 Alaska Region 12 Pacific Islands
LOCAL ACTION. HEALING LANDS. EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES.
Conservation Legacy is a leading national conservation service organization dedicated to supporting local and regional service programs, raising the bar on impact, inclusion, and innovation in community-based conservation efforts. We work so that every person living in America has the opportunity to feel connected, committed, and confident they can contribute to continuing a legacy of healthy lands, air, and water; thriving people; and resilient communities. We conduct impactful, high-quality local conservation programs and community projects that engage and empower local communities and populations that have historically been underrepresented. We create spaces that put inclusion and equity at the center.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE The objective of this partnership is to complete important conservation projects while providing young adults with structured, safe and challenging work and educational opportunities through service that promote personal growth, economic opportunity, the development of life skills and an ethic of natural resource stewardship. Conservation Legacy is committed to racial equity as it works toward making these opportunities available to a consistently diverse group of young people and veterans and to those who could most benefit from the experience.
ENGAGING FUTURE LEADERS WHO PROTECT, RESTORE, AND ENHANCE OUR NATION’S LANDS THROUGH COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICE.
Projects strengthen America’s most treasured resources—our National Park Service lands and sites—by increasing recreational access, addressing the backlog of deferred maintenance, supporting local economies, modernizing infrastructure and restoring community and cultural assets. Through partnership and innovation, Conservation Legacy is engaging young people to tackle the pressing challenge of climate change on projects nationwide by monitoring ecosystems, helping lands and waters to be more resilient and providing education to visitors. Preparing the next generation for careers, providing job training and facilitating individual growth are also critical components in all Conservation Legacy partnerships and programs.
Conservation Legacy’s federated structure allows for direct leadership and relationships, between corps and project partner—facilitating nimble decision making and locally focused programming.
Conservation Legacy is made up of unique programs and program models. Each program and some program models have dedicated local staff serving their communities.
FEDERATED MODEL Conservation Legacy has adopted a federated model through much research, evaluation and insight, supported by our 20202022 Strategic Plan. We mirror our internal restructuring with the implementation of an endorsed brand architecture.
ANCESTRAL LANDS Leading our Nations back to ecological and cultural wellbeing. The Ancestral Lands Model is 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 tribally and locally, combined with the network of operational support from Conservation Legacy. Presently there are many different Ancestral Lands programs operating both nationally and on the local level. The Ancestral Lands program model was established in 2008 based at Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico.
Conservation Legacy is unique in the outdoor industry. Each of our conservation corps are based in the communities they serve; we recruit staff and participants locally, and each corps program is run by a local corps director who is empowered to administer programs that address local needs. Local conservation corps benefit from Conservation Legacy’s central support services including quality assurance and quality control, technology, training, risk management, communications, human resources and legal and financial services. Conservation Legacy corps directors participate in a community of practice and benefit through sharing and collaboration.
APPALACHIAN CONSERVATION CORPS 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 work on the land, ACC crew members will 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. Appalachian Conservation Corps centers on growing opportunity from roots in service, community and wild places.
Conservation Legacy programs are placed either as corps supervised teams, or through individual resource assistants mentored by our project partners. We serve across the United States and all its territories.
ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS Engaging individuals and strengthening communities through service and conservation, Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC) provides young adults with challenging service and educational opportunities throughout the full calendar year. AZCC operates a continuum of programs—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 and are AmeriCorps programs.
CONSERVATION CORPS NEW MEXICO Since April of 2017, Conservation Corps New Mexico (CCNM) has been operating conservation service programs across southern New Mexico and western Texas that engage individuals and strengthen communities through service and conservation. Since 1998, Arizona Conservation Corps has worked on projects throughout southern New Mexico. With Conservation Legacy’s commitment to supporting locally based programs and communities, southern New Mexico programming and projects have transitioned to CCNM’s locally-based operations out of Las Cruces, NM, in order to best serve local communities, young people and landscapes in this region.
CONSERVATION CORPS NORTH CAROLINA In 2019, Conservation Corps North Carolina (CCNC) joined the Conservation Legacy family of programs. CCNC strives to cultivate a new generation of local land stewards. Partnering with land managers to accomplish impactful and lasting conservation service projects, CCNC works to build and support sustainable public access, historical interpretation and ecological health. SOUTHEAST 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 Kids Chattanooga, and a variety of Conservation Programs for youth and young adults. SOUTHWEST CONSERVATION CORPS Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) operates conservation service programs across Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico, empowering individuals to positively impact their lives, their communities and the environment. 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 local community needs and interests. STEWARDS INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENT PROGRAM Providing individual opportunities through service that build career-based experience, strengthen communities, and preserve our natural resources, Stewards Individual Placement Program (SIPP) places AmeriCorps and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). Members in communities across America for a year of volunteer service by facilitating partnerships between federal agencies and community-based nonprofit groups. Unified in mission, each participant serves on a specific team distinguished by its unique focus and relevant federal agency partner affiliation. PRESERVE AMERICA YOUTH SUMMIT 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.
PROGRAM SUCCESS CONSERVATION LEGACY’S EVOLUTION AS AN ORGANIZATION HAS BEEN IN DIRECT CONJUNCTION WITH OUR GROWING PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE. As the NPS works towards preserving the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations, we are honored to play a role in the fulfillment of that effort. In 2021, we selected over 1,000 youth, young adults and veterans from a wealth of diverse backgrounds as we continued grow our service and conservation programs in cooperation with NPS to expose new segments of the population to public service and conservation careers while furthering their understanding and appreciation of our Nation’s natural and cultural resources. We continue to provide high quality training, personal and professional growth and real on the job work experience through meaningful conservation opportunities. In addition to the significant amount of work our participants completed, we also provided educational programs to increase knowledge of the environment and to develop the next generation of stewards with a deep appreciation for our public lands.
Conservation Legacy is committed to innovating new ways to build your legacy through conservation service. We establish a culture of innovation, so Conservation Legacy is at its core always committed to continuous improvement and benefits of adaptive change. We facilitate opportunities for local innovation by supporting staff with structure and funding to try new and different ideas.
Conservation Legacy ensures that our members, participants, staff, and communities we serve can connect with each other in an inclusive environment. We are building staff culture needed to support organization-wide DEI efforts by requiring a five hour cultural competency training, identifying priority demographics, DEI engagement indicators, and DEI-related policies/practices. We provide all people with the opportunity to connect with others in affinity spaces.
Conservation Legacy is making an impact and building resiliency in communities and ecosystems across America. We work to prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change in our communities, implementing work to mitigate the catastrophic effects including fire and flood mitigation and drought resilience. We engage and empower participants to return to their communities as leaders for environmental change.
IMPACT IN ACTION
Conservation Legacy Member, Andrea Minot served for 12 weeks at Mount Rainier National Park focusing on one of the most important and time sensitive conundrum’s we face today, climate change. One of her goals was to show park visitors the effects that climate change is having on the parks that they love through pop- up programs. Pop-up programs are intended to act as standalone exhibits that last between 10 to 15 minutes, and include interactive elements, in an effort to further engage the audience. Andrea’s specific pop-up program investigated certain changes throughout the park and invited the audience to try and determine if they were created through anthropogenic or natural causes. PAGE 18
INCLUSION IN ACTION
Over this past summer, Conservation Legacy’s Southwest Conservation Corps Los Valles office launched a new crew— Leaders of Color (LOC, working at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. This crew was created to hold an affinity space for members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities to gain skills in the conservation field. During their season the crew received their Wilderness First Responder training, chainsaw and crosscut certifications, and honed their technical skills in trail construction and maintenance as well as forestry. Brian, a member of the crew had this to say; “I was trying to find conservation work that was really intentional about diversity, equity, and inclusion—lo and behold I found just that with the Leaders of Color crew at Southwest Conservation Corps.” He continues, “I always worked in diverse spaces but never in a space by the BIPOC community for the BIPOC community and just being here has been very empowering.” PAGE 14
INNOVATION IN ACTION
Conservation Legacy focused on providing new spaces to introduce women to an industry that is traditionally male dominated. By providing the opportunity for women to gain experience in conservation and land management, while learning from and alongside other women, creates a safe and welcoming environment that Conservation Legacy its NPS partners to move towards greater equity within our industry. This year, Conservation Legacy’s Southeast Conservation Corps engaged a Women’s Conservation Corps. During these projects they worked on historic cemetery restoration, campground maintenance, campground construction, boardwalk restoration, bridge demolition and construction, and prairie restoration, in addition to traditional trail maintenance and construction. Through this work the members learned through firsthand experience about historic preservation, ecological restoration, and environmental conservation, all while paving the way for more women to participate in this work in the future. PAGE 17 7
PROGRAM MODELS NATIONAL PROGRAM MODELS Affinity Crews We provide all people with the opportunity to connect with others and contribute to a legacy of healthy lands and thriving people in an inclusive environment. Programming to support affinity groups includes Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, LGBTQIA+, People with disabilities, Veterans, People who are deaf and hard of hearing and Women. Community Volunteer Ambassador Program 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. 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. Veterans Fire Corps The Veterans Fire Corps (VFC) engages recent era veterans on priority hazardous fuels and prescribed burn projects while developing the next generation of wildland firefighters. Scientists-in-the-Park The Scientists-in-the-park (SIP) program works with partners to match college students and recent graduates aged 18 - 35 years old with short-term, paid, internships with the National Park Service. Participants may assist with research, synthesis of scientific literature, geologic mapping, GIS analysis, site evaluations, resource inventorying and monitoring, impact mitigation, developing brochures and informative media presentations, and educating park staff and park visitors. Historic Preservation Training Center The Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC) and Stewards Individual Placement Program partnership provides training and experience for young adults and veterans interested in the historic preservation trades. Members gain skills while helping to preserve the historic structures, monuments, and memorials throughout the park system, as well as addressing the backlog of deferred maintenance projects. 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.
COVID-19 PREVENTION AND MITIGATION The safety of our participants, staff, and partners has been our utmost priority. In early 2020, we quickly activated an Incident Management Team (IMT) dedicated to addressing the impact of COVID-19 on our organization. Through the pandemic, this dedicated group of staff has managed new policies and protocols for staff and field-based work. As an organization, we had to pivot and innovate in the face of a pandemic, and we continue to do so, adapting as needed. Our IMT continues to monitor and update safety policies as we move forward. With the introduction of several vaccines readily available to our staff and participants, we are dedicated to following federal and local guidance and requirements around vaccines, encouraging our staff and participants to get a vaccine, if able. Conservation Legacy programs are up and running at 100% in 2021. COVID-19 forced a shift in operations for Conservation Legacy but also presented an opportunity to come together for collaboration and future development. During the pandemic, our corps programs had the opportunity to strengthen connections with local project partners through collaborative planning and adapting to ever-changing circumstances. With our partners, we have been able to support telework and remote service positions, have improved risk management at site facilities, and offered professional development opportunities that continue to offer impact and meaningful experience to our participants. We recognize that we still have an important role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and are paying careful attention to the guidance, policies and procedures that we are implementing during this time, working with our partners to maintain the safety of our participants and staff. We continue to align with partner and CDC policies and protocols around prevention and vaccinations.
BY THE NUMBERS PROJECT
TOTAL PARTICIPANTS: 1,050
CONSERVATION CREW PARTICIPANTS: 449 INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENTS: 601
4% (42) No answer
GENDER Non-Hispanic/ Non-Latino
ACRES RESTORED OR IMPROVED
7% (74) Prefer not to answer
TOTAL VOLUNTEERS LEVERAGED
American Indian or Alaskan Native
Black/ African No answer American
More than one
MILES OF TRAIL CREATED/ MAINTAINED
RACE AGE 26–35: 30% (315)
35+: 4% (42) Under 15: 2% (21) 15–18: 8% (84)
EDUCATION GED or HS Diploma: 14% (147)
Some College: 20% (210)
No Answer: 2% (21) Associates: 5% (52) Masters: 6% (63)
No HS/In HS: 7% (74) 19–25: 56% (588)
“I SINCERELY HOPE WE ARE ABLE TO CONTINUE WORKING TOGETHER IN THE FUTURE WITH SIMILAR PROJECTS AND CREWS.”
-Andrew Bentley, Partner Manassas National Battlefield
ANCESTRAL LANDS EL MORRO NATIONAL MONUMENT HEADLANDS TRAIL Five ALCC crews worked at El Morro National Monument to help reconstruct the Headlands Trail, a two-mile loop that takes visitors past petroglyphs and more modern inscriptions as well as to the top of the bluff, past the Atsinna historic site, where nearly 600 people lived from 1275 to 1350 AD. The labor-intensive work involves demolishing and removing existing asphalt trail, hauling up Sta-Lok and flagstone materials, and installing dry masonry erosion control features and Sta-Lok tread. Over the summer of 2021 and leveraging funds from the Youth Programs Division and the National Park Trust, crews constructed over 1300 ft of new trail and features while transporting many tons of old material off site. The El Morro Headlands Trail project is a multi-year undertaking and funding has increased to complete the renovated path. Current stakeholders include the National Park Trust, The Fund for People in Parks, and El Morro National Monument. ALCC will dedicate two more crews to 12 weeks of work in the fall and will resume the project in the spring of 2022. Total leveraged non-WASO dollars = $152,350 from El Morro National Monument, The Fund for People in Parks, The National Parks Foundation, and the National Park Trust.
WEROWOCOMOCO The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail’s Werowocomoco Ancestral Lands Corps is comprised of three individual placements which includes one lead position. This year marks our second class and we created the lead position as a means of having a peer leader to assist the new placements with peer guidance. Werowocomoco is an important Indigenous site along the York River. More than 400 years before English settlers established Jamestown, Werowocomoco had been an important Powhatan Indian town. Werowocomoco, translated from the Virginia Algonquian language, means “place of leadership”. As an archaeological site, Werowocomoco was confirmed in 2002, nearly 400 years after the Indian leader paramount chief Powhatan and his people interacted with Jamestown leaders here and at Jamestown. Participants began their placement with many COVID-19 protocols still in place at the park and national levels. To satisfy occupancy limitations, telework was authorized and they completed a robust training schedule of online coursework. Each training course has associated “accountability checks” and/or short essay assignments to fulfill requirement. Some also have training certificates verifying completion. 12
WUPATKI NATIONAL MONUMENT Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps (ALCC) partnered with Wupatki National Monument Sunset Crater National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, The Getty and the University of Pennsylvania to protect and preserve these Ancestral sites for current and future generations to enjoy and to honor the ancestors who built them generations ago. ALCC has partnered with the National Park Service since our creation in 2008 to engage Indigenous young people in meaningful conservation and national service programs that create positive impacts for our communities, the environment, and our participants. Projects such as the historic preservation work that will be completed over the next three years at these sites are incredibly impactful for our participants, who are descendants of the original architects and builders of these places. Participants also gain valuable professional development experience and skills to support their ling-term success, including pursuing careers in the Historic Preservation field, and many participants continue in careers with NPS and other agencies after their terms of service with ALCC. Our vision is to lead our Nations back to ecological and cultural well-being, and projects like this help us to make this vision a reality by reconnecting Indigenous young people to the land, their ancestors, and their culture while preparing them for success in the future. ALCC Zuni Program Manager Kevin Cooeyate has seen the impact that participation on preservation projects has on Zuni corps members firsthand, commenting that ALCC participants “walk up to a site with awe. After the initial reaction, there is a proud moment that settles in. A sense of reconnection to our ancestors can be just as impactful and is very much a part of the experience. Some, if not, many ALCC participants have a direct tie to the sites and locations we focus on. With a cultural perspective background, a site becomes much more than a project. It is in fact an opportunity to carry on and understand what our ancestors left behind. With a focus on Historic Preservation, Erosion Control, Invasive Species Removal, etc., our participants become faithful Stewards for Land and People. That is how I believe we are Leading our Nations Back to Ecological and Cultural Well-being!”
ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS
FLAGSTAFF AREA NATIONAL MONUMENTS
GRAND CANYON INTERNSHIPS
Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC) and Flagstaff area national monuments partnered to implement and develop innovative ways to engage young people in stewardship activities that meet high priority needs. AZCC members focused on completing deferred and cyclical maintenance on the Lomaki Pueblo within the Wupatki National Monument. This site includes several pueblos that sit above Box Canyon. One of the park’s priorities is to manage the impact that visitors have on the sites. One way to keep visitors and the sites safe is to have well maintained and functional trails for all types of trail users.
The intern program at the Grand Canyon has reached a milestone this year. In 2015, we began our Ancestral Lands internship program with the intention of creating opportunities for tribal members to share their knowledge and experiences with the park's visitors while also creating a career ladder for tribal members to learn about NPS positions and qualify for them through the Public Lands Corps (PLC) hiring authority.
The AZCC crews started work on this project in July of 2020 and worked through the summer. As a team, members served for 20 weeks to drill, split, shape and place liner limestone along the .8-mile visitor trail in order to make it wheelchair accessible. The crew assisted NPS staff with a variety of other tasks in addition to working at the Lomaki trail. In total 225 rocks were shaped and placed as liners on the trail, two miles of the Lomaki and other park trails were maintained, 60 five-gallon buckets of sand were poured, and .02 miles of fence was maintained.
SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK In the summer of 2021 Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC) and Saguaro National Park partnered to complete cyclic maintenance on trails throughout the park. This partnership allowed young adults to work in collaboration with a public land agency. AZCC members worked with Saguaro National Park’s trail crew on low elevation desert trails repairing steps, cleaning and repairing water bars, replacing eroded tread, and brushing vegetation from the trail corridor. Participants gained skills in trail repair, teamwork, communication, resume writing, and community engagement while working on public lands in Southern Arizona. This provided an opportunity for youth to learn about the environment while working on and completing conservation projects. In total the crew spent three weeks maintaining and improving .28 miles of the Sendero Esperanza Trail. The crew assisted the park in making the trail more sustainable by increasing control efforts and widening the trail for stock. The crew installed 54 steps along with general cyclic maintenance of the trail. “The work that I’ve done has had an extraordinary impact on how I relate to myself and others, and through the corps I discovered a passion for desert ecology,” stated crew member Aster Schaefer. 14
Kelli Jones, who served back-to-back Ancestral Lands terms with in 2018-2019, was hired into a NPS seasonal position this spring. Now, through her PLC eligibility, she has been appointed to a permanent Park Guide position with the NPS at Grand Canyon National Park. This has been a big step in realizing the intentions with which the program was built, and a cause for us to celebrate. Kelli has done wonderful work through her appointments and will be a key part of continuing to advance park goals of expanding collaboration with our tribal partners and developing opportunities for them to share their stories.
APPALACHIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WOMEN’S SAW CREW/NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION PARTNERSHIP After the success of our first Women’s Saw Crew (a chainsaw crew designed to be an affinity space for female-identifying and non-binary participants) last year, we are excited to build on that success this fall with a second crew. They began their season in August 2021 at Manassas National Battlefield Park and will continue through the fall of this year working at other NPS sites including Shenandoah National Park and New River Gorge National Park & Preserve. Manassas was also home to our Women’s Saw Crew for their whole season last year, where they cleared view sheds, removed invasive plants, and created habitat for native grouse. This year’s crew received their chainsaw training at Manassas from ACC staff and was able to clear 1.4 acres in order to provide a view shed to the Stone House, a historic structure used as a field hospital in both the First and Second Battles of Manassas. With support from ACC staff, the crew felled 181 trees in this view shed, which, in addition to supporting the interpretation of the battlefield, provides critical edge habitat for native plants and animals. The mature tree trunks may also be milled and used for lumber needed for various projects around the park.
NEW RIVER GORGE/ACCESS FUND PROJECT The National Park Service is one of ACC’s oldest partners and we have been running some innovative and highly technical crews in 2021 with the support of these long-standing partnerships.
In the words of Andrew Bentley, Cultural Resource Specialist at Manassas, “in addition to being an incredible force multiplier for the park to achieve landscape restoration goals and being an exceptional team, the social boundaries that were torn down by the nature of the crew was equally important. The very nature of the crew being a women's saw team is exactly in line with the inclusive and diverse outreach the park is seeking to achieve. The example they set through their actions, their achievements, and conduct only furthered that end by not only breaking down that stigma but wiping it away through their level of proficiency.”
Working with both the NPS and the Access Fund, this ACC crew put in 1,400 work hours on a dry-stone masonry project at New River Gorge National Park. This crew, working directly with two experts from the Access Fund and supported by New River Gorge staff, got experience with rigging equipment and highly technical rock work as they set 48 stone steps and built a 52 square foot retaining wall. These projects made climbing access at the popular Bridge Buttress site much more sustainable, allowing for increased traffic, safer use, and less environmental impact by visitors. The ACC crew members were not only able to build their rock work skills; they made valuable professional connections with partners and immersed themselves in the local community, climbing, rafting, and biking in the park on their days off. As New River Gorge made the transition into the country’s newest National Park, this ACC crew was able to help prepare the park for increased visitor traffic and attended a park service gathering to celebrate the transition. 15
CONSERVATION CORPS NORTH CAROLINA
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY BLACK, INDIGENOUS AND PEOPLE OF COLOR CREW This summer, Conservation Corps North Carolina launched its first BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) crew to provide an affinity space for people of color in the outdoors. The majority of the crew’s work has been in the Blue Ridge Parkway where they completed trail maintenance and rock work on trails that needed attention after years of wear and erosion. The crew members also led volunteers for a 9/11 day of service, where community members gathered in memoriam of those lost on that day twenty years ago. The concept of single identity-based crews has existed since the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) launched in 1933 through African-American Crews and through the CCC Indian Division. Single identity-based crews, prioritize same-identity leadership and future work opportunities, place crew members in locations that are similar to other crew locations, incorporate identity-specific professional development opportunities, and allow any qualified member to serve in the corps. Today’s single identity-based crews seek to create spaces for identities that have not been incorporated throughout the historical narrative, and seek to dismantle systems of injustice that have been embedded within the environmentalism movement. They seek to uplift, empower, and support underrepresented groups by creating safe,inclusive spaces that equitably allow them resources that had not traditionally been given to them before. When Tiarra, a member of the BIPOC crew, was asked about how the season had changed her so far and she had this to say; “I’ve definitely become more confident and able to voice my opinion on things, and that I’m being valued in a group, and how to make myself valuable in that group.”
SOUTHWEST CONSERVATION CORPS GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE In 2021 Southwest Conservation Corps, Los Valles Region partnered with the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve to support seven individual placements. Four of these members served with the Interpretation and Visitor Services branch at the park while the other three served with the Facilities and Maintenance Operations branch. The Interpretation and Visitor Services IPs contributed to and delivered Junior Ranger programs, general interpretive programming, social media programming and outreach, as well as assisting with general visitor services operations. Brooke Lynn Pitsch was able to help build, plan, and execute a Junior Archaeology camp program, adapting a month-long program for middle school children and another month-long program for high school aged youth. The Facilities and Maintenance IPs also contributed to a variety of projects within the park. They helped to conduct general maintenance projects on the park’s trails and roads, including bridge construction, step construction, tree removal, and drainage clearing. They also contributed to general facilities and campground maintenance. Additionally, these members were trained to collect data on the dunes, measuring the height and location to report out on dune movement. They also assisted resource managers with data collection associated with various streams throughout the park and dragonfly larva.
LEADERS OF COLOR PROGRAM Over this past summer, Southwest Conservation Corps Los Valles office launched a new crew— Leaders of Color (LOC), which was funded by the National Park Foundation. This crew was created to hold an affinity space for members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities to gain skills in the conservation field. During their season the crew received their Wilderness First Responder training, chainsaw and crosscut certifications, and honed their technical skills in trail construction and maintenance as well as forestry. In Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve the crew did basic trail maintenance and crosscut runs on the Medano Lake Trail and Music Pass trail in the preserve. The crew then completed removing downed trees in the Park area using chainsaws at the Ponderosa Picnic area and backcountry campsites along the Medano Road. In Aztec Ruins National Park, the crew planted, weeded, and watered "islands" of native plants that are intended to restore the land around the ruins to ecological health Brian, a member of the crew had this to say; “I was trying to find conservation work that was really intentional about diversity, equity, and inclusion––lo and behold I found just that with the Leaders of Color crew at Southwest Conservation Corps.” He continues, “I always worked in diverse spaces but never in a space by the BIPOC community for the BIPOC community and just being here has been very empowering.” 17
SOUTHEAST CONSERVATION CORPS
URBAN ARCHAEOLOGY CREW
MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK
This year, Southeast Conservation Corps successfully ran its first adult Urban Archaeology Crew. This crew completed archaeology projects within Fort Frederica National Monument and Cumberland Island National Seashore. Project work during the first four weeks of the program was completed on St. Simons Island, while the second four weeks of the program were located on Cumberland Island.
Margaret Huck, one of Southeast Conservation Corps’ individual placements, has been working with Mammoth Cave National Park since Fall of 2019. During her service terms, she has been working closely with park service staff to complete cricket and bat monitoring projects. Cave crickets and bats are keystone species, so the data that Margaret and National Park Service staff collects gives scientists an overall idea of cave ecosystem health across time.
On St. Simons Island, the crew focused on excavating a colonial site purportedly belonging to an indentured servant, Archibald Sinclair, who lived during the mid-eighteenth century. The Sinclair site was divided up into transects where teams of two would remove and sift dirt 10 centimeters at a time until they hit a depth of 60 centimeters. Common artifacts found at this site included fragments of pottery/ceramics, nails, mammal bones, shards of glass, rings and jewelry, and tobacco pipes. The crew also completed lab work where they identified and sorted the artifacts found. While on Cumberland Island, the crew worked with professional archaeologists at Plum Orchard to complete 96 shovel test surveys of the land, recording positive or negative evidence of Native American material artifacts. The excavations conducted on Cumberland Island are used to help assess the archaeological resources in the area in preparation for a shoreline restoration project. Crew Member, Marina Dreeben, wrote, “our work was an important first step in the shoreline restoration project that should help preserve the island and Plum Orchard site so it can continue to serve as an educational and recreational site for the community.” Overall, this experience gave young adults the opportunity to work with professional archaeologists and learn more about archaeological fieldwork. 18
Margaret has assisted with winter bat monitoring at Wildcat Hollow Sink, Haunted Cave, and J.T. Cave. Margaret and NPS staff enter the caves and visually scan the walls and crevices, counting any bats and recording species and signs of white nose syndrome, if present. For monitoring of summer 2021 cave bats, Margaret has conducted emergence counts at fourteen caves within four different parks. In teams of two, Margaret and NPS staff navigated to the cave entrances, set up infrared lights and two types of cameras, and watched the entrance with night vision goggles. They conducted two nights of counts at each of the fourteen caves. For cricket projects, Margaret led teams of two to conduct monitoring at eight cave entrances. She navigated to the entrances, set up the equipment, and took photographs of cricket clusters falling within the transects. Margaret has completed analyses for eight entrances total. The field work and data management that Margaret and NPS staff collect contribute to CUPN's long term data on cricket and bat populations. This contribution informs management decisions and helps scientists assess the health of the cave ecosystems in the face of climate change and other factors.
HEADER WOMEN’S CREW In 2021, Southeast Conservation Corps hosted its first ever adult Women’s Conservation Corps (WCC) trail crew. The WCC model was first pioneered by SECC two years ago with a series of youth crews, and this year represented our first opportunity to incorporate an adult crew into this affinity model. The all-women affinity model for conservation corps crews is extremely important as a conduit to introduce women into an industry that is traditionally heavily male dominated. By providing the opportunity for women to gain experience in conservation and land management, while learning from and alongside other women, creates a safe and welcoming environment that allows SECC and its NPS partners to move towards greater equity within our industry. This year SECC’s WCC crew had the opportunity to perform service activities along the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, at Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park, and at King’s Mountain National Military Park. During these projects they worked on historic cemetery restoration, campground maintenance, campground construction, boardwalk restoration, bridge demolition and construction, and prairie restoration, in addition to traditional trail maintenance and construction. Through this work the members learned through firsthand experience about historic preservation, ecological restoration, and environmental conservation, all while paving the way for more women to participate in this work in the future. After a hitch working on historic cemetery restoration at Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park, crew member Annisa Wedderburn reported that, “I felt a sense of relief, pride, happiness, and responsibility cleaning the graves to reveal them to the public. I felt like this was a way for me to respect those that have passed before me. My parents are immigrants, so I never felt a full connection to American history as I was taught Jamaican history and stories of my parent’s childhood. Experiences like these helps build my understanding of American and African American history.” Additionally, crew member Rosa Kirk-Davidoff, reflecting on the lessons learned from a prairie restoration project along the Natchez Trace stated that, “The difference between the side of the trail where the prairie has been restored with prescribed burns and the side with the dense junipers was striking. Almost nothing grows under the trees, but the prairie was full of a diverse mix of grasses and wildflowers. Removing the three junipers for the bridge will allow more light to reach the ground, letting more plants grow. I love learning about ecological restoration, so getting to play a part in this project was exciting.” Through this experiential learning process these crew members and their leaders had the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience while also paving the way to create more equitable representation of women in the fields of land management and environmental conservation. The partnership between the National Park Service, Southeast Conservation Corps, and Conservation Legacy is integral in providing and facilitating these opportunities. 19
STEWARDS INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENTS
ALLIYAH GIFFORD, NPS NATURAL RESOURCE INTERN As a Natural Resource Intern at Rocky Mountain National Park, Alliyah Gifford’s term of service has been nothing short of incredible. From the beginning, Alliyah’s main goal was to collect field data from vegetation monitoring sites throughout the park, though she’s experienced so much more. Having served at the Park last summer, returning to protocol has given Alliyah the opportunity to explore her memory. In addition, Alliyah has developed skills including plant and bird identification, map and compass navigation, and backcountry traveling and coordination. During elk surveys, she has been able to recognize animals of different age groups, and further developing her tracking skills using telemetry, organizational skills, and time management. Even so, Alliyah plans to undergo more training before the season’s up; the learning never ends! As this season draws to an end, for Alliyah, the most interesting aspect of her service has been watching the landscape slowly begin recovering from the fires of 2020. When she first arrived this year, everything was covered in snow. Now there are graminoids, mushrooms, and wildflowers popping up all through those burn areas, bringing life back to the Park, and inspiring Alliyah herself to grow.
ANDREA MINOT, INTERPRETIVE ASTRONOMY AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH INTERN, SCIENTISTS IN PARKS Andrea Minot’s 12-week term at Mount Rainier National Park spanning from June 20th, 2021, to September 10th, 2021, focused partly on one of the most important and time sensitive conundrum’s we face today, climate change. One of her goals was to show park visitors the effects that climate change is having on the parks that they love through pop- up programs. Pop-up programs are intended to act as standalone exhibits that last between 10 to 15 minutes, and include interactive elements, in an effort to further engage the audience. Andrea’s specific pop-up program investigated certain changes throughout the park and invited the audience to try and determine if they were created through anthropogenic or natural causes. She also engaged park visitors in interpretive night sky talks that focused on the moon and its phases, as well as a general astronomy talk. Night skies are a crucial but often overlooked aspect of national parks, and Andrea thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to educate and inform the public about the reasons why it is important to preserve and protect them. Andrea felt that her experience was both “individually empowering and incredibly humbling,” and believes that it’s “important to make these natural spaces accessible to people from all backgrounds and equally important to protect these lands while recognizing the indigenous cultures and stewardship that existed long before white colonizers constructed the idea of a national park.”
KIRBY HECK, SOUNDSCAPE INTERN, SCIENTISTS IN PARKS
ERIN TODD, BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT
Kirby Heck’s Technical Computing and Soundscape Internship at Denali National Park and Preserve has been nothing short of extraordinary. Kirby was able to contribute to a 20 year long project from the ground and the sky through the installation, maintenance, and removal of sound monitoring stations by foot and helicopter at four sites. When Kirby wasn’t at the headwaters of the Toklat River in Denali, or at the Hammond River in the Gates of the Arctic National Park, you could find him soldering circuit boards, fixing power poles, charging batteries, and testing electronic instruments.
In the short time Erin Todd served at Bandelier National Monument, she completed data collection in her own unit (17 plots in total) and in sister parks nearby, El Malpais (10 plots in total) and El Morro (installed 5 plots on a pre thinning unit). They collaborated with the Rocky Mountain Youth Core, bird banding interns, dendrochronology interns, and wildlife interns to complete the plot work.
The algorithm that Kirby wrote has the potential to create more accessibility for smaller parks that want to preserve their soundscapes but might not have the resources to deploy expensive field instrumentation in remote wilderness areas, and instead can utilize computational methods. Kirby reflects on the states of being he has long associated with national parks: solitude, fortitude, and gratitude. Through his internship he realized that he had been missing a key pillar in this list: quietude. He says, “The natural ambiance of wild lands is a resource equal to the landscapes, wildlife, and cultural history of the National Park Service, and I believe my work has contributed to preserving quietude for future generations.”
Erin also went beyond her routine monitoring activities and assisted their engine crew on fuel management projects. This involved creating piles of thinned materials, which will be burned in the winter. Lastly, Erin worked with her supervisor to complete a burn pile survey. This involves characterizing the physical properties of the piles, including moisture and temperatures readings inside and outside of the piles. This combined with research on the moisture content of various fuel sizes (1-, 10-, and 100-hour fuels) and presence and proximity to salamander cover objects, will help further illuminate the potential impacts of fire management activities on Jemez Mountain Salamander habitat.
STEWARDS INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENTS
PAIGE WAGAR, PACIFIC WEST REGIONAL OFFICE Paige served two terms of service and was hired on with the Land Resources Program and their land acquisition projects in Mojave National Preserve, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Redwood National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, John Muir National Historic Site, and Channel Islands National Park. She assisted in easement mapping, land surveying, and cartographic review of properties. Paige coordinated complex discussions with utility companies, private landowners, State organizations and Federal agencies. Paige is most proud of her work on the acquisition of 68 parcels of land at Mojave National Preserve. She began working on the project during her first week of the internship. She completed complex title research, contracted the appraisals, coordinated the environmental site assessments, drafted escrow instructions, and ordered funds. Paige said in her final report “This internship re-affirmed my interest in pursuing a career in federal land management. Prior to this experience, I worked with the US Forest Service which is where I initially fell in love with the spirit and dedication of public land managers.” Paige’s extraordinary efforts during her two terms of service were significantly recognized and she is now a permanent staff member with NPS. 22
JESSICA RIVAS, PACIFIC WEST REGION Jessica Rivas served as an IEVY Fellow with the Pacific West Regional office for NPS. She created toolkits for educators doing distance learning programs and worked with University of California, Merced students on a toolkit for youth navigating careers in the National Park Service. Jessica created several info graphics to capture overlap of goals and initiatives between the Regional Interpretative Ranger Advisory Council (IRAC), and the Regional Interpretation, Education, Volunteer and Youth (IEVY) office on their Relevancy, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity goals. In her final report, Jessica said “The best part of my fellowship has been connecting with all of the people on a personal level. In every interaction, I made sure I checked in and validated people’s experience of stress, sadness, overwhelm and other challenging emotions they shared. Between the pandemic, the social and civil unrest in the country, the shooting and death of black individuals, hate crimes against Asians and Pacific Islanders, suicides in the NPS, and day-to-day stressors, people were and are in pain and don’t always feel welcome to talk about it. I found that almost every person I talked to experienced hardship in some way and were grateful for the chance to share and check-in before getting into the workload. I am grateful for these interactions because they were the foundation of trust and compassion that created community in an otherwise isolating environment. These connections I formed were my favorite part of this position.”
VETERANS PROGRAMMING Conservation Legacy’s Veterans Fire Corps (VFC) program engages post-911 Veterans to protect communities from wildfire while training veterans for careers in fire management. VFC crews complete service projects focused on fuels mitigation, fire prevention, fire disaster response, and post-fire restoration. Veterans receive career-building training leading to jobs as wildland firefighters and other natural resource fields. Since 2009, Conservation Legacy corps programs have had long standing success running Veterans Fire Corps (VFC) programs with the US. Forest Service. In 2018, Conservation Legacy began working with the National Park Service to implement VFC crews in the Lower and Upper Colorado River Basin. Currently, three Conservation Legacy programs, Southwest Conservation Corps, Conservation Corps New Mexico, and Arizona Conservation Corps have successfully operating Veterans Fire Corps crews in 2021. Conservation Legacy plans to expand the program to include pilot programs with Southeast Conservation Corps and Appalachian Conservation Corps in early 2022. Cumulative, Conservation Legacy has provided training, certifications, and job opportunities for over 500 veterans since 2009. As a direct result of the program over 50% of participants have gone on to secure jobs as wildland firefighters with federal, state, and local land management agencies, municipal fire departments, and private companies. To accomplish this, Conservation Legacy has partnered with The National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Foundation, Veterans Green Jobs, and local Fire Departments. Training Provided: Wildland Firefighter Training S130, S190, L180, IS100, IS700 Wilderness First-Aid and CPR S212 Wildland Fire Chainsaw Operations Engine Crew member Ignition Strategies and Tactics Risk Management and Leadership Resume building for federal wildland fire jobs Accomplishments Total Acres Improved: 203 Hours Served: 4,200
Rocky Mountain National Park El Malpais National Monument Valles Caldera National Preserve, Tonto National Monument Grand Canyon National Park Pecos National Historic Park Project Summary: Protection of Critical Species Habitat, Mechanical Fuels thinning, Constructing Fire Breaks, Creating/Maintaining Defensible space around historic structures, and cultural sensitive sites, prescribe burn preparation, ignition, holding and operations. South Atlantic Gulf Region 2 Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park Gulf Islands National Seashore Cumberland Island National Seashore Andersonville National Historic Site Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Kings Mountain National Military Park, and others. Planned Project Summary: Protecting Critical Habitat for Endangered Species, Prepping around nesting trees for endangered birds, Constructing Defensible Space around cultural sensitive and historic park structures, Constructing/maintaining existing Fire Breaks in strategic locations and around park boundaries Assisting with Prescribe Fire Preparation, Ignitions and Operations, removing Dead down fuels from Hurricane Sally.
PARKS AND PROJECTS Projects Summary: Protection of Critical Species Habitat, Mechanical Fuels thinning, Constructing Fire Breaks, Creating/ Maintaining Defensible space around historic structures, and culturally sensitive sites, prescribe burn preparation, ignition, holding and operations. Upper and Lower Colorado Basin: Region 7 and 8 Aztec Ruins National Monument Mesa Verde National Park 23
VETERANS PROGRAMMING North Atlantic Appalachian Region 1 New River Gorge National Park Shenandoah National Park Cuyahoga National Park Planned Project Summary Project focus will include: fuels reduction of critical habitat and creation of defensible space around historical structures. The crew will also be prepping and assisting with Prescribe Burns. Challenges Recruitment: Southwest Conservation Corps’ Winter VFC Crew (January – March) has the highest number of applicants and excellent crew retention. This is a great time for off season wildland firefighters to keep developing their skills and new Veterans wanting to gain experience, earn their red card and make a direct transition to a wildland fire job for the remainder of the year. Our Summer (April – August) is more difficult, as many other seasonal job opportunities are available, some of which pay more than the VFC program. Our Fall (August – November) is successful amongst members, but more difficult to keep crew leaders. In 2021, SCC lost three of the four VFC leaders during this transition because our federal agency partners offered them jobs. COVID-19 presented additional challenges: Crew sizes limited to six to allow for adequate social distancing during vehicle transportation and additional recruitment challenges associated with candidates fear of geographic relocation to participate in program Innovation Recruiting: Conservation Legacy has invested in high level recruiters at its western and eastern regions, to provide an analysis of existing recruitment tactics and the development of new recruitment strategies. Our western region recruiter is based in Colorado Springs, and has a network of connections with military bases in Colorado Springs and around the country. Conservation Legacy has also developed a partnership with DOD SkillBridge, and is working to place outgoing military service members in some of its programs, deepening our recruitment and work with military service members and veterans. Conservation Legacy Innovation Fund Proposal: Several programs at Conservation Legacy, including SCC and AZCC, collaborated on a proposal to Conservation Legacy’s internal Innovation Fund and were awarded $12,000 to engage with veterans consultants to do needs assessment work with current participants that would inform trainings that Conservation Legacy would offer to program staff to better support and coach veterans engaged in their transition from military service to meaningful employment and transition to the civilian sector. Currently, two consultants have been identified and preliminary scheduling between programs and consultants are underway. It is expected that this multiphase initiative will span FY 21 and 22. 24
Funding: SCC NPS funding FY 21: $68,000 SCC leveraged USFS funding FY 21: $535,000 AZCC NPS Funding FY21: $145,643 AZCC leveraged USFS Funding FY21: $309,828 Demographics: Total Participants: 35 Veterans Ethnicity: 43% Hispanic or Latino; 57% White Gender: 14% Female; 86% Male
PARTNER AND PARTICIPANT QUOTES HOLLY ANDERSON, INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENT
LAUREN CROISSANT, CREW LEADER
‘I believe this experience has better prepared me for the future as it has allowed me to grow the connection I have with the surrounding community and the environment, and as I move into working with the NPS, those are both universally valued and will continue to be of value moving forward. I think this is a valuable program for anyone who is eligible. There is so much to learn by participating in a program dedicated to public service, aside from learning a lot about the agency you are working with, you also learn a lot about people and how they interact and care about their public lands.’
‘I had never run a chainsaw before, and that was pretty daunting, but this has shown me how adaptable I am. I want to serve more and find something that combines public engagement & working with my hands.’
OLIVIA MONTOYA, INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENT ‘This experience has given me insight and has better prepared me for what it’s like working for the National Park Service. I would tell people that Southwest Conservation Corps is a great way to meet new people that love to help protect the environment, and that you really get hands on experience. I see a difference in myself. I fell in love with the park and never want to leave! Our work impacts me as much as it impacts the community, as we all strive to reconnect and protect the land through service.’ JESS ADAMCZYK, CREW MEMBER ‘My time at NRG was definitely the most impactful time in the program. The work was very fulfilling because there was so much to learn. Each week I could see myself improving & working more independently. It’s amazing to know I can go back years from now and see the work I did.’
JESSICA OROZCO, PARTNER, GREAT SAND DUNES ‘This season was incredible and there are so many wonderful things that came from collaborating with SCC. The Individual Placement program this year hired some great members and the dynamic that developed from all of them is what made this season so enjoyable- we achieved so much as a team and learned skill sets that go beyond the field of trail labor. We conquered so many problems together, navigated systems within NPS to make projects possible, networked with staff, changed the pace and increasingly worked harder and faster as we learned the ways of the trail, gained an understanding for the importance of preservation in parks, and ultimately gained insight into what it means to work in conservation and why this field of knowledge is vital to our generation.’ ANDREW BENTLEY, PARTNER, MANASSAS NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK ‘Working with these ACC Women’s Saw Crews has been an absolutely fantastic experience for the park. Firstly, the work that was accomplished by the teams were tasks the park would not have otherwise been able to undertake and have made a massive improvement to the cultural landscapes of the battlefield.
In addition to being an incredible force multiplier for the park to achieve landscape restoration goals and being an exceptional team, the social boundaries that were torn down by the nature of the crew was equally important. The very nature of the crew being a women’s saw team is exactly in line with the inclusive and diverse outreach the park is seeking to achieve. The example they set through their actions, their achievements, and conduct only furthered that end by not only breaking down that stigma but wiping it away through their level of proficiency. I sincerely hope we are able to continue working together in the future with similar projects and crews.’ JOANNA SCOTT, CREW MEMBER ‘Life on my crew has been a blast all the way through. Highlights have been working on a seven-week project at the New and engaging with the community there and developing rock-work skills.’ CONNOR TUPPONCE, INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENT ‘The program is an essential part of the Virginia Indian community because it allows native youth to work on and experience their own sacred sites while continuing to carry on the culture left to us by our ancestors all while promoting a healthy government to government relationship.’ DOMINIC HENRY, CASA GRANDE RUINS ‘The crew did work that improves park operations and preserve cultural resources of the park. That is a big deal and important to us. As a small staffed park, their help maximized on getting more work completed. Great to have them!’
DILLON HAWTHORNE, PARTNER, GREAT SAND DUNES ‘During my time with SCC and the Great Sand Dunes I have been able to do what I enjoy most, working outside in Colorado’s public lands, but this experience has been more than just trails maintenance. I have been able to shadow and assist almost every department at the park and converse with them about career options and observe their job to develop new interests and open new possibilities for myself. The employees at the park have been fantastic and almost always ask, while I am working with them, what my goals are and offer suggestions to help me on my career path. So, in this internship I have gained many new skills, gained great insight, and made numerous connections with others working in natural resource careers.’ JESSICA ARKEKETA, PIPESTONE NATIONAL MONUMENT ‘I wanted to become a Corpsmember because it gave me a second chance in life. I knew this internship was going to push me in a way I never had before. It gave me an opportunity to challenge myself to do better. Also, I had to prove to myself and the younger generations that it’s never too late to turn your life around. It really has been a life changing experience. Sometimes I’m lost for words when explaining my time at Pipestone. I am forever grateful.’ CODEY HERRERA, VFC CREW MEMBER ‘I mean it whole heartedly, the Southwest Conservation Corps has given me what eight years of therapy was never able to: Freedom from my post-service anxiety and depression.’ 25
CONCLUSION Participation in corps programming has a long track record of success resulting in young people developing professional and life skills as well as an increased awareness of environmental and resource stewardship. These activities promote the mission and vision to which both the National Park Service and Conservation Legacy are committed. The physical and financial support from the National Park Service, the interns, crews, communities, partner agencies, staff and partner conservation corps in this effort have been remarkable. Conservation Legacy and partner corps are humbled to continue to learn and grow together and to continue to provide systems, administrative and coordinating services that can build capacity at the local level to engage youth and young adults with public lands, for the betterment of our shared future. Conservation Legacy is extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity to continue its partnership with the National Park Service to expand opportunities for young people to serve on public lands and to provide much needed services in the areas of land restoration, trail maintenance and construction, vegetation management, historic preservation, wildfire prevention, community development and other critical needs.
2021OUTDOOR RETAILER INSPIRATION AWARD: NON PROFIT CATEGORY RECIPIENT: ANCESTRAL LANDS
PRESS AND MEDIA
FULL PROJECT LIST
Hovenweep National Monument P20AC00733
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park P21AC11211
Joshua Tree National Park P19AC00007
HEARING: EXAMINING THE POTENTIAL FOR A CIVILIAN CLIMATE CORPS PRESENTING: CHAS ROBLES, ANCESTRAL LANDS DIRECTOR
Aztec Ruins National Monument P20AC00782
Mesa Verde National Park P21AC10867
Bandelier National Monument P20AC00446
Mesa Verde National Park P21AC10213
Blue Ridge Parkway P20AC00761
Montezuma Castle National Monument & Tuzigoot National Monument P21AC10019
PARTNERSHIP AIMS TO CONNECT AMERICORPS MEMBERS WITH FREDERICK-BASED PRESERVATION WORK FREDERICK POST https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/culture/history/partnership-aims-to-connect-americorps-members-with-frederick-based-preservation-work/article_d77b2d5ce42d-5f86-a067-5998b182ada6.html
HENRY HILL NATIONAL PARK SERVICE WEBSITE https://www.nps.gov/mana/learn/historyculture/henry-hill-rehabilitation-project.htm
Canyon de Chelly National Monument P21AC10192 Canyon de Chelly National Monument P18AC00798
Montezuma Castle National Monument & Tuzigoot National Monument P19AC00385
Canyon de Chelly National Monument P20AC00665
Montezuma Castle National Monument & Tuzigoot National Monument P20AC00607
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument P20AC00910
Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail P20AC00834
Chaco Culture National Historical Park P20AC00769
Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail P19AC00762
Chaco Culture National Historical Park P21AC10452
Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail P20AC00834
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park P21AC10651
National Park Service (NPS) - WASO P20AC00714
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park P20AC00772
National Park Service (NPS) - WASO P20AC00397
Chiricahua National Monument P20AC00963
National Park Service (NPS) - WASO P21AC10242
El Malpais National Monument P20AC00836
National Park Service (NPS) - WASO P19AC00178
El Morro National Monument P19AC00924
Pecos National Historic Park P20AC00342
ACOMA BLUE CORN RESTORED TO ITS COMMUNITY OF ORIGIN KCET
Flagstaff Area National Monuments P20AC00503
Petrified Forest National Park (PEFO) P19AC00870
Flagstaff Area National Monuments P20AC00622
Petrified Forest National Park (PEFO) P21AC10230
Flagstaff Area National Monuments P21AC10047
Petrified Forest National Park (PEFO) P20AC00727
Flagstaff Area National Monuments P20AC00622
Petroglyph National Monument P21AC10662
WOMAN AT WORK: BRENNA KELLY, SOUTHEAST CONSERVATION CORPS DIRECTOR DOVETAIL WORKWEAR BLOG
Flagstaff Area National Monuments P21AC10047
Saguaro National Park P21AC10471
Flagstaff Area National Monuments P20AC00503
Shenandoah National Park P20AC01031
Flagstaff Area National Monuments P20AC00503
Shenandoah National Park P20AC00994
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument P19AC00876
Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks (SOCA) P17AC01599
SHARING THE HISTORY OF ARLINGTON HOUSE, THE ROBERT E. LEE MEMORIAL NATIONAL PARK SERVICE WEBSITE https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=4D7DC807-4093-4614-960A6301C3642303
FISCAL YEAR 2022 BUDGET REQUEST FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR US SENATE https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/hearings/fiscal-year-2022-budget-request-forthe-department-of-the-interior
HOW LGBTQ YOUTH ARE BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH CONSERVATION WORK NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/how-trail-work-is-connectingqueer-youth-with-conservation
STUDENTS ARE TEACHERS AT PRESERVE AMERICA YOUTH SUMMIT IN SOUTHEASTERN COLORADO LA JUNTA TRIBUTE-DEMOCRAT
A HOME HEATING CRISIS. A DEVASTATING FOREST FIRE WAITING TO HAPPEN. ONE INNOVATIVE SOLUTION. SLATE
ON YOUR NEXT HIKE, SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THE TRAIL BUILDERS WHO MADE IT POSSIBLE WASHINGTON POST https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/trail-workers-builders-outdoor-recreation-hiking/2021/09/15/195ff6f2-0feb-11ec-bc8a-8d9a5b534194_story.html
THE CORPS NETWORK CORPS MEMBER OF THE YEAR TREVOR TAYLOR, LEADERS OF COLOR, SCC https://corpsnetwork.org/press/the-corps-network-announces-winners-of-the-2021corpsmember-of-the-year-project-of-the-year-awards/
NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION AND NATURE VALLEY HELP RESTORE ACCESS TO 10,000 MILES OF NATIONAL PARK TRAILS NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION https://www.nationalparks.org/about-foundation/newsroom/national-park-foundation-and-nature-valley-help-restore-access-10000-miles
Grand Canyon National Park P21AC10358 Grand Canyon National Park P19AC00301 Grand Teton National Park P21AC10255 Great Sand Dunes National Park P21AC10666 Great Sand Dunes National Park P19AC01073
Southwest Invasive Plant Management Team P21AC10075 Tumacacori National Historical Park P21AC11568 Urban Archeology Corps P19AC00708 Valley Forge National Historic Park P21AC11410 White Sands National Monument P21AC10195
FULL PROJECT LIST
INDIVIDUAL PLACEMENTS Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park Acadia National Park Alaska Public Lands Information Center American Memorial Park Antietam National Battlefield Appomattox Court House National Historical Park Arches National Park Aztec Ruins National Monument Badlands National Park Bandelier National Monument Big Bend National Park Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area Big Thicket National Preserve Biscayne National Park Blue Ridge Parkway Bryce Canyon National Park Buck Island Reef National Monument Buffalo National River Cabrillo National Monument Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area Cape Cod National Seashore Cape Hatteras National Seashore Cape Lookout National Seashore Carlsbad Caverns National Park Catoctin Mountain Park Central Alaska Inventory & Monitoring Network Chaco Culture National Historical Park Channel Islands National Park Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park Chesapeake Bay Office NPS Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Chiricahua National Monument Colonial National Historical Park Colorado National Monument Coltsville National Historical Park
Congaree National Park Coronado National Memorial Cumberland Island National Seashore Curecanti National Recreation Area Cuyahoga Valley National Park Death Valley National Park Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Denali National Park and Preserve Dinosaur National Monument Dry Tortugas National Park Everglades National Park Fire Island National Seashore First State National Historic Park Flagstaff Area National Monuments Flight 93 National Memorial Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Fort Larned National Historic Site Fort Monroe National Historic Site Fort Pulaski National Monument Fort Vancouver National Historical Park Fossil Butte National Monument Freedom Riders National Monument Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve Gateway National Recreation Area Sandy Hook Unit George Washington Memorial Parkway Gettysburg National Military Park Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Glacier National Park Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Golden Gate National Recreation Area Grand Canyon National Park Grand Portage National Monument Grand Teton National Park Great Basin National Park Great Smoky Mountains National Park Guadalupe Mountains National Park Gulf Islands National Seashore Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument Haleakala National Park Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site Hot Springs National Park Indiana Dunes National Park Isle Royale National Park Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve Jewel Cave National Monument Jimmy Carter National Historic Site John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Joshua Tree National Park Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Katmai National Park and Preserve Klamath Inventory & Monitoring Network Lake Mead National Recreation Area Lassen Volcanic National Park Lava Beds National Monument Lincoln Home National Historic Site Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site Lowell National Historical Park Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park Mammoth Cave National Park Manassas National Battlefield Park Mesa Verde National Park Minute Man National Historic Park Mississippi National River and Recreation Area Mojave Desert Network Monocacy National Battlefield Montezuma Castle National Monument & Tuzigoot National Monument Morman Pioneer National Heritage Area Mount Rainier National Park National Capital Parks - East National Mall and Memorial Parks National Park Service (NPS) - WASO National Parks of Boston National Parks of New York Harbor National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park New River Gorge National River North Cascades National Park Northeast Archeological Resource Program Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area NPS Biological Resources Division NPS Geologic Resources Division NPS HPTC NPS Natural Resources Stewardship & Science Directorate NPS Region - Alaska Regional Office NPS Region - Pacific West Regional Office NPS Region 1 - National Capital Regional Office NPS Region 2 - Southeast Regional Office NPS Region 6,7,8 - Intermountain Regional Office NPS RTCA
NPS RTCA Anchorage NPS RTCA Omaha NPS Seattle NPS Water Resources Division Obed Wild & Scenic River Olympic National Park Padre Island National Seashore Parashant National Monument Park Cultural Landscapes Program Seattle Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park Pearl Harbor National Memorial Petersburg National Battlefield Petroglyph National Monument Pinnacles National Park Presidents Park Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Redwood National Park Richmond National Battlefield Park River Raisin National Battlefield Park Rock Creek Park Rocky Mountain National Park Saguaro National Park Salem Maritime National Historic Site San Antonio Missions National Historical Park San Francisco Bay Area Network San Juan Islands National Historical Park Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks Shenandoah National Park Shiloh National Military Park Southeast Archeological Center Southern Plains Inventory & Monitoring Network Southwest Alaska Inventory & Monitoring Network Stones River National Battlefield Theodore Roosevelt National Park Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Valles Caldera National Preserve Valley Forge National Historic Park Vicksburg National Military Park Voyageurs National Park Waco Mammoth National Monument War in the Pacific National Historical Park Weir Farm National Historic Site Whiskeytown National Recreation Area Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts Women’s Rights National Historical Park Wrangell - St. Elias National Park & Preserve Yellowstone National Park Yosemite National Park Yukon - Charley Rivers National Preserve Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Zion National Park
BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS (BIA)
University of the District of Columbia, University of New Mexico University of Arizona Tohono O’odham Community College Pima Community College Northern Arizona University Coconino Community College Northland Pioneer College TMontgomery Community College Wayne Community College Southeast Community College Haywood Community College Duke University Alamance Community College Appalachian State University Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Barber-Scotia College Beaufort County Community College Bennett College Blue Ridge Community College Brevard College Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Campus Compact Cape Fear Community College Catawba College Catawba Valley Community College Central Carolina Community College Central Piedmont Community College Chowan University Coastal Carolina Community College College of The Albemarle Craven Community College Davidson College Durham Technical Community College East Carolina University Edgecombe Community College Elizabeth City State University Elon University Gaston College Guilford College Halifax Community College Haywood Community College Hollins Univesity Isothermal Community College James Sprunt Community College Johnson C. Smith University Lees-McRae College Lenoir Community Colleg Livingstone College Mars Hill University
ADDITIONAL DOI PROGRAMMING
RECRUITMENT OUTLETS: HIGHER ED
Conservation Legacy partners with the BIA to implement two key initiatives that engage Native youth across the country: the Ancestral Lands Program and the Water Resources Technician Training Program. Both programs engage Native youth and leaders on conservation projects in tribal communities with leadership and support from local tribes and staff. This year BIA participants completed projects including fence repair, invasive species removal and assisted with the management of critical water resources.
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (BLM) In partnership with the BLM, Conservation Legacy programs complete projects across the west including fire fuel mitigation, trail maintenance, trail construction, campground and recreational access improvement, habitat restoration and resource management. Individual participants also assisted with mapping, resource assessments and recreation access.
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION (BOR) Conservation Legacy programs partner with the BOR to engage young people on crews and as individual placements to meet high priority needs. Crew based projects focus on erosion control, wildland fire management, park improvements, vegetation removal and fence repair. Participants placed individually focused on research activities such as tracking of invasive Zebra mussels, assisting with river modeling and learning about safety requirements and needs for dams.
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE (FWS) The projects implemented in FY19 engaged participants to help with fish monitoring and conservation through the removal of non-native species, field surveys and research on effectiveness of fish barriers. Participants also helped with the improvement of an urban refuge and engaged local youth to help mobilize additional volunteers in recreation, education and service opportunities.
OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING, RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT (OSMRE) In partnership with OSMRE, Conservation Legacy implements two key programs, the OSMRE VISTA Team and the OSMRE AmeriCorps Team. The VISTA Team places individuals in communities affected by mining to promote economic development, community development and stewardship through the development of additional community resources, mobilization of volunteers and through other locally-based strategies. The OSMRE AmeriCorps team places members at the state level nationwide to provide opportunities for participants to assist with reclamation activities.
Martin Community College Mayland Community College McDowell Technical Community College Meredith College Mitchell Community College Montgomery Community College Montreat College Nash Community College NC Agricultural & Technical University NC State University Pamlico Community College Piedmont Community College Queens University of Charlotte Randolph Community College Richmond Community College Roanoke Chowan Community College Robeson Community College Rockingham Community College Sampson Community College Sandhills Community College Shaw University Southeastern Community College Southwestern Community College St. Augustine’s University Stanly Community College Surry Community College Tri-County Community College UNC Asheville University of Mount Olive Vance-Granville Community College Vernon Malone College & Career Academy Wake Technical Community College Waren Wilson College Wayne Community College Western Carolina University Western Piedmont Community College Wilkes Community College Winston Salem State University NC State University American Association of University Women Bennett College Appalachian State University NMSU Western New Mexico University UTEP - College of Science Colorado College Chattanooga State Community College University of TN at Chattanooga
Program AZCC CCNM SCC ALCC STEWS ACC SECC CCNC Total
Project Cost $890,492 $33,333 $463,344 $1,386,736 $10,224,944 $903,139 $651,453 $9,067 $14,562,508
NPS $667,869 $25,000 $347,508 $1,040,052 $ 7,668,708 $677,354 $488,590 $ 6,800 $10,921,881
In-kind $222,623 $8,333 $115,836 $346,684 $2,556,236 $225,785 $162,863 $2,267 $3,640,627
Leveraged Funding by Category Amount Non Profit Partners $1,482,956 Individual Donations, Foundations $1,154,020 *Ancestral Lands $2,183,025
*Conservation Legacy considers NPS to be the foundation of Ancestral Lands. Given this, Conservation Legacy considers all funds: state, local and federal, private, as leverage funding.
Total NPS Project Contributions $10,921,881 Total Inkind $3,640,627 Total Leveraged Funding $4,820,001
*Note: Actuals from Oct 1, 2020-July 31, 2021, estimates for August 2021 Revenue— estimated at 80% of July Actual Revenue, Sept Revenue Estimated at 50% of August 2021.
FY2021 Fiscal Overview In FY2021 80% of the $10,921,881 in NPS Projects Funded in FY2021 was drawn down from agreements that were obligated in FY2020 and earlier. This was due two factors: The widespread challenges and impacts of the COVID19 pandemic and standard funding approaches to the Stewards Individual Placement Program. For all of Conservation Legacy Crew programs this large discrepancy is a direct result of the impacts of the COVID19 Pandemic on Conservation Legacy programs in FY2020. In FY2021 Crew programs spent over 2.3 million in P20 and earlier task agreements and only 900 thousand dollars on projects under P21 task agreements. Early in the pandemic, Crew Programs were challenged with training, recruiting, project shutdowns, quarantines, limited projects, and attrition of both members and staff. In addition, all of our crew programs experienced short term shutdowns and delays as result of community closures by civil authorities. Not surprisingly, Ancestral Lands was disproportionately affected by the fallout from the pandemic. This is also reflected in our FY2021 numbers. In FY2021 Ancestral Lands implemented 900 thousand dollars on projects under task agreements awarded in FY2020 and earlier. On FY2021 agreements we have only drawn down 100 thousand. The reasons for this are diverse and many. Our Ancestral Lands programs faced all the challenges of our crew programs. In addition, Long-term tribal community closures took their toll on our ability to recruit and train members. These closures and prioritizing the immediate needs of the community, put some NPS projects on hold so focus could be placed on critical activities such as COVID19 contact tracing, assisting with food delivery, and firewood cutting/gathering. In FY2021 the Stewards Individual Placement program drew down over 6.3 million from P20 and earlier agreements with the National Park Service. In comparison only 1.2 million was spent on P21 agreements. This was due to two unrelated factors. Wide-spread impacts of COVID-19 affecting both small regional programs and the national program alike. Recruiting, attrition, remote work, and limited resources at parks all contributed. The 2nd factor which is unrelated to the pandemic is simply the result of how the programs are designed. Large National Programs such as the Community Volunteer Ambassador Program operates with a 2 year performance period. Others including the Scientist Parks program is often funded using end of year funding from the previous year. Good news is we are forecasting growth in 2022, which will greatly reduce any funding surplus we currently have. Despite ongoing/lingering effects from this devastating pandemic Conservation Legacy has rebounded fully in FY2021. By continuing to adapt our risk management systems we have been able to successfully field our program while also keeping our staff, members, and partners safe and limiting community spread of the COVID19 virus. We are at 100% of our FY2019 capacity, with many of our programs on track to grow this year. With NPS we implemented almost 11 million dollars in programming in FY021. This is testament to our staff and member’s, adaptability, resourcefulness, perseverance, and dedication. 30
Support for FY2021 National Park Projects Greater than $10,000 Non-Profit Partners Partner Amount National Park Foundation $791,325 Mitsubishi Electric $193,900 Catena Foundation $147,395 Grand Canyon Conservancy $134,255 Friends of Cedar Mesa $69,620 Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation $54,500 Rock Creek Conservancy $48,892 Schuylkill River Greenway $48,892 Shenandoah National Park Trust $45,140 Grand Staircase Escalante Partners $44,389 Continental Divide Trail Coalition $40,497 National Park Trust $25,000 Appalachian Trail Conservancy $17,962 Zion Park Association $12,453 Protectors of Tule Spring $11,595 Badlands Natural History Association $10,665 Total $1,696,480
APPENDIX F: DEMOGRAPHICS
RACE 70% 735 White 12% 126 Native American 5% 52.5 Other 4% 42 No Answer 4% 42 African American 3% 31.5 More than one 2% 21 Asian American ETHNICITY 79% 829.5 Non-Hispanic/Non-Latino 14% 147 Hispanic/Latino 7% 73.5 Prefer not to answer GENDER 50% 525 Female 43% 451.5 Male 1% 10.5 Non-binary 2% 21 Other 4% 42 No Answer AGE 2% 21 under 15 8% 84 15-18 56% 588 19-25 30% 315 26-35 4% 42 35+ EDUCATION GED or HS 14% 147 No HS/in HS 7% 73.5 Some College 20% 210 Associates 5% 52.5 Bachelors 46% 483 Masters/PHD 6% 63 No Answer 2% 21