THIS WORK POSSIBLE Conservation Legacy bonds people to places and harnesses their power to restore, improve and preserve our communities and ecosystems. We believe it is through the physical and mental efforts inherent in corps work that positive personal and environmental change is realized. By providing authentic service leadership opportunities for young people in the field of conservation and simultaneously addressing critical natural resource needs, our programs address the nation's environmental needs of today and tomorrow. You make this work possible.
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Conservation Legacy operates in all 50 States and 5 U.S. Territories
Members working on conservation service projects across the country this summer
Contact Tracers working to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado
Of interns who were able to pivot and continue to work remotely
Masks purchased for members + staff
Partner approval rating
FROM THE FIELD: 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: HEATING THE HOPI NATION The closure of the Navajo Generating Station and subsequent loss of the primary heating source for the Hopi community impacted villages heavily in the winter of 2019. Preparation of Hopi for the wintertime will be essential as Hopi currently does not have a fully operational firewood program. Ancestral Lands, a program of Conservation Legacy, in partnership with the Hopi Foundation, Village of Kykotsmovi, National Forest Foundation and Red Feather Development Group, is assisting in developing a fuel wood program, with plans to expand to other villages. Crews have removed over 100 cords of wood from Lockett Meadow in the neighboring Coconino National Forest, and have delivered over 30 cords to DinĂŠ families in the Cameron Chapter, and the other 70 cords have or will be delivered to Hopi families. We are planning to process and deliver an additional 150+ cords of fuel wood to Hopi families this fall!
PRESERVATION THROUGH THE PANDEMIC 2020 marks Conservation Legacyâ€™s Stewards Individual Placements second year of supporting the Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program (TTAP). The Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program provides long-term training opportunities to young adults and veterans to learn and develop the hands-on skills of preserving and maintaining cultural resource infrastructure while supporting an effort to decrease deferred maintenance at National Park Service sites across the country. The Traditional Trades Apprenticeship interns embraced the uncertainty of COVID-19 and were able to work remotely for their National Park Service sites as well as support Conservation Legacy through efforts to enhance recruitment and outreach when it wasn't feasible to work in the field or remotely. Because of the dedication and flexibility of our interns and staff, the TTAP program has overcome many challenges with unique and innovative solutions. The collective 2020 Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program cohort will have safely completed over 17,945 hours of work on NPS Preservation Projects. This work contributes toward reducing the deferred maintenance backlog in the National Park Service.
PIVOT AND INNOVATE: Contact Tracing in Colorado With the onset of COVID-19, the world has been forever changed. National service organizations like Conservation Legacy are meeting this new challenge as they always have—head on, ready to pivot their programming and readjust to face a new reality in the spirit of service and solidarity. Conservation Legacy and its Stewards Individual Placement Program have mobilized more than 130 contact tracers as part of the vital effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. To date, the contact tracing cohort has collectively made over two thousand calls since the program’s inception. “This program is unlike anything we has ever attempted. We have literally been constructing the program as we implement it,” remarked Joel García, a Recruitment Program Manager for the contact tracing effort. The development of the contact tracing program has taken a lot of teamwork and grace according to April Elkins-Badtke, the director for Conservation Legacy’s Stewards Individual Placement Program. Elkins-Badtke was struck by a realization that brought all the tireless hours she put into the program into perspective. “I can see that we have absolutely answered the call to action. The country is hurting, and people are scared. This has been one clear way that we can apply ourselves and our programming to respond to the needs of our country.” Positive coronavirus cases are down in Colorado since contact tracing work began. As the world adapts to life during the virus, Conservation Legacy participants and staff alike will continue to stand ready to respond to the needs of their communities and to selflessly offer their service for the benefit of all.
How do you explain the Contact Tracing Program to your friends and family? “One aspect of my identity that's important to me is that I am Mexican-American, so I am passionate about reaching out to the Spanish-speaking community in Colorado, especially as it relates to providing healthcare and health services to underserved communities. I like to explain Contact Tracing as part-detective-part-social-work. Part of it involves ascertaining where people may have been exposed to the virus and who else may be at risk; the other equally important part is connecting with people on a deeper level. It is extremely important to be able to empathize with the person on the other line, to listen carefully to what they have to say, and to understand their concerns and their needs. It's important to be able to build rapport with people quickly and to facilitate open communication about information that they may consider to be private and sensitive. That's a lot to ask of someone who just met you!” Avery Muniz, 21, student
What will you take away from this experience? The distrust, the pain, the mental toll...it's everywhere, and the inequity that has come to the forefront during the pandemic is devastating. But knowledge is power, and together I truly believe we can come together in unity and move forward like we haven't been able to before. I still find it so hard to believe we have lost 170,000 lives to this virus. In my small way, I want to believe I did what I could to turn the tide. And getting to know so many other folks who want to do the same thing is so inspiring, this group has such a varied diverse makeup and we step up and help each other out in an instant. It is awesome. Whether it's COVID, counseling, education, or pounding the pavement for a cause I have yet to identify, I'll be there, ready to serve. ” Victoria Good, 57, retiree
IN HER OWN WORDS: Autumn Riehl SOUTHEAST CONSERVATION CORPS WOMEN'S YOUTH CREW ALUMNI "After working in the youth women’s crew last year, I decided to return for another season of work this year, after having such an amazing experience during my first season. One of the best parts of working in the women’s crew for me was the empowerment we all felt, encouraging each other every day and proving that we as young women are strong and capable. I love how in our crew, everyone has their own unique take on this experience. For some, their main goal may be to have a positive impact in their community and to make a difference in the world. For others, it may be a chance to connect with nature and become closer with the environment. Or, their goal may be to become a stronger and more well-rounded individual inside and out.
"I hope that we can build a better community for our daughters and granddaughters." My goal is for people to be able to see womanhood as tough and powerful. And I hope that we can build a better community for our daughters and granddaughters to thrive in, and that they can feel that they are strong, too. Having a womens’ youth conservation crew in our community is important for our generation and for future generations of young women. When you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, every small change can make a huge difference."
Diverse Board of Directors Drives Organizational Change The diversity of Conservation Legacy’s board of directors makes them uniquely situated to lead the organization as it grows into a more diverse nonprofit within the outdoor industry.
Left to right: Board Chair Enrique E. Figueroa, Ph.D., Board members CJ Goulding and Lisa Norby.
Since its inception 23 years ago, Conservation Legacy has sought to impact and serve the local communities and ecosystems in which its eight separate programs perform conservation service projects. Recently, the organization has made significant strides towards becoming more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, due in part to the vision and guidance of its board of directors, which represents an array of diversity uncharacteristic of that level of leadership, regardless of industry. Leading With Intent, an index of nonprofit board practices, found that “84 percent of nonprofit board members [are white] and more than one quarter of all nonprofit boards are entirely white.” In contrast, just 33 percent of the members of Conservation Legacy’s 15-member board identify as white. But diversity runs deeper than demographics—it celebrates and encourages variety in thought, personal experiences, socioeconomic backgrounds and ideologies. Variety in cognitive and demographic representation allows a board to establish “more effective solutions, higher levels of engagement, stronger culture, and deeper, more authentic relationships with partners,” according to the Governance Gap report.
Board Chair Enrique E. Figueroa, Ph.D. who identifies as Chicano, is well aware of the multitude of benefits that diversity brings as well as the impact of that representation. Figueroa has championed diversity throughout his life. He acknowledges that the staff and participants of Conservation Legacy do not currently reflect the diversity of the board that leads them, but he is confident that “collectively, because of our diverse backgrounds, [the board is] more attuned, more sensitive, and more prepared to offer suggestions, advice, and council with the staff on how to approach increasing the diversity of our staff and corps members.”
MAKE AN IMPACT Your generous gift supports conservation efforts across the country. It supports the creation of jobs and opportunities for young people, working to preserve and protect natural spaces and to create accessible outdoor recreation. Together, we can create a world with healthy lands, air and water; thriving people and resilient communities.
Conservation Legacy is focused on increasing representation across all levels. Additionally, the organization is committed to adapting its programs, systems, and internal culture to be more inclusive. Creating an equitable, safe, and welcoming space for all staff and members is imperative. Conservation Legacy acknowledges that their work towards becoming more diverse has only just begun. The desire, aspiration, and energy of the staff for this growth is readily apparent, and the personal experiences and professional backgrounds of the board members will provide the insight and driving force necessary to lead the organization to meet its goals.
conservationlegacy.org/support Conservation Legacy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Federal Tax ID (EIN): 84-1450808
CONSERVATION LEGACY 701 Camino del Rio, Suite 101, Durango, Colorado, 81301 (970)403.1149
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