Youth Conservation/Service Corps and Community Outreach


Iowa DNR Americorps Trail Crew - Iowa

Young members Iowa DNR AmeriCorps Trail Crew

Crew members carry forth these lessons and passion into their communities and future endeavors.

The Iowa DNR’s Trails program uses AmeriCorps funds, Resource Enhancement and Protection funds, and Lake Restoration funds, combined with Recreational Trails Program dollars administered by the Iowa DOT to build and maintain multi-use hiking, equestrian, mountain bike, cross-country ski, and snowmobile trails in Iowa’s state parks.

A full-time program staff of three manages full-time and seasonal AmeriCorps members who work with hand tools and power equipment to build sustainable new trails and maintain old trail systems, many of which were laid out by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Trail crew members learn environmental stewardship, community service, leadership, teamwork, and a responsible work ethic.

Crew members carry forth these lessons and passion into their communities and future endeavors. They also provide training to their partners such as park friends groups, county conservation boards, and trail user clubs in basic trail preventive maintenance and environmental stewardship.

photo credit: Iowa DNR
Crew members learn a variety of important skills

Crew members learn a variety of important skills

Each year the crew develops and maintains trail and trail infrastructure that reduces soil runoff and mitigates human impact on the land while providing safe recreational opportunities. They build pedestrian bridges, boardwalks, retaining walls, benches, trailhead signs, accessibility improvements, fencing, hand rail, check steps, box steps, etc., and provide safe, sustainable, and stable trail tread for recreation.

Projects vary widely and are selected using criteria developed by the Iowa DNR Trails program staff encompassing concerns such as safety, environmental impact, immediate need, and volunteer support.

The program has been highly successful for over 13 years using AmeriCorps crews and before that for many years with prison crews and interns.

More winners of this award

2021: Evans Creek ORV Area

2020: Monadnock Trail Improvement Project

2019: Lassen Peak Trail

2018: Pole Mountain Trails - Wyoming

2017: Arizona Conservation Corps Mogollon Rim Ancestral Lands Trail Crew - Arizona

2016: Rock Creek Park Bridge Project - District of Columbia

2016: Utah Conservation Corps Bike Crew - Utah

2014: Alaska Trails Mobile Tool Trailers

2013: Leicester Hollow Loop Trail - Vermont

2012: Mount Yale Trail Realignment - Colorado

2011: Anchorage Hillside Singletrack Trail System - Alaska

2010: Hyde Park Heritage Greenway - New York

2009: North Bend Lake Equestrian Trail - West Virginia

2007: Continental Divide Trail Alliance Youth Corps

2006: Swallow Falls Trails and Muddy Creek Falls Overlook - Maryland

2005: Superior Hiking Trail - Minnesota

2004: North Fork I and II Trail Projects - Oregon

2003: North Fork Boise River Trail Rehabilitation - Idaho

789 views • posted 12/29/2017