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Building Trails With Youth Corps

How youth corps will expand their involvement with partners on public lands.

By the National Association of Service & Conservation Corps

photo: Youth Corps team at work on the Tahoe Rim National Recreation Trail
Youth Corps team at work on the Tahoe Rim National Recreation Trail

The nation's 110 state and local youth corps, now operating in 35 states and the District of Columbia, constitute a valuable resource for natural resource and trail managers as well as citizen groups seeking to accomplish valuable, visible projects. Youth corps provide trained, well-led, cost effective crews for trail development and maintenance and related projects.

Youth corps enjoy a long and productive history of partnership with state, local, and Federal agencies, and are always looking for new projects. In the coming years, youth corps will expand their involvement with:

  • National Park Service through the new Public Land Corps initiative;
  • Recreational Trails and Transportation Enhancements projects founded under TEA-21;
  • Workforce Investment Act job training funds (a non-traditional source for trails!);
  • Backcountry trails projects in Colorado, California, and the Upper Northwest; and
  • Urban and community trails and greenways through the CorpsRestore Initiative.

This interactive session will introduce the mission, objectives and history of youth corps. It will also provide details on how to solicit help from and work with conservation corps, touching on project planning, budgeting, logistical support and fielding crews. Presenters will place a special focus on how youth corps often bring non-traditional funding to trails projects. Participants will gain a clear understanding of the strengths and opportunities corps provide as trail crews, and of corps' role as developers of an increasingly diverse constituency for trails in the future.

The National Association of Service and Conservation Corps (NASCC) is the national membership organization for youth corps, and serves as a central clearinghouse of information and technical assistance on corps. NASCC also develops and maintains relationships with Federal natural resource agencies and other national citizen and membership groups such as American Trails, National Recreation and Parks Association, The Roundtable Associates, National Parks and Conservation Association, American Hiking Society, Partnership for the National Trails System, and Americans for Our Heritage and Recreation.

Session Coordinator: Andrew Moore, NASCC

  • Speakers: Jeff Parker, Northwest Youth Corps, Eugene, Oregon
  • Tim Ludington, Trail Supervisor, Yosemite National Park
  • Steve Griswold, Trails Supervisor, Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Larry Evans, Trails Supervisor, Stanislaus National Forest (California)
  • Peter Lewis, Diroctor, California Conservation Corps Backcountry Trails Program

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