Youth Conservation/Service Corps and Community Outreach


Leicester Hollow Loop Trail - Vermont

Discussing the project construction

This project is the result of the outstanding collaborative effort exhibited among federal, state and partner organizations.

This project is the result of the outstanding collaborative effort exhibited among Forest Service employees, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation staff, and three partner organizations: the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC), Vermont Mountain Bike Association (VMBA) and Moosalamoo Association.

The Leicester Hollow Loop Trail Project relocated a historic trail out of a floodplain and completed watershed restoration activities for Leicester Hollow Brook. The project restored and expanded recreation access in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area (NRA) of the Green Mountain National Forest in addition to enhancing the effective use of partnerships and reducing public health and safety risks that had been created by a large flooding event.

The Leicester Hollow Loop Trail Project unified partnership efforts to engage citizens and raise awareness of opportunities available in the NRA since its establishment in 2006. Towards that end, the Forest Service and partners utilized outreach efforts to attract more visitors to the region and to engage local groups and individuals in contributing to land stewardship of federal land. Together, the partners completed the restoration and relocation of the Leicester Hollow Trail, severely damaged by a flood in 2008, and expanded mountain biking and hiking opportunities into a nine-mile trail loop.

Rock work on the trail

Rock work on the trail

Funding provided by the RTP program through two grants in part supported eight Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) crews, totaling 65 crew members, to complete the Leicester Hollow Loop Project over a span of three years.

Multiple crew members returned to volunteer time in an effort to complete the project on schedule. Funding provided by the RTP program also supported an eight-person VYCC crew hired to provide interpretation and education opportunities in the Moosalamoo NRA.

During the project, Forest Service staff developed an educational calendar for VYCC crews, exposing corps members to natural resource management and field skills. Presentations were provided on a variety of topics, including: GPS navigation and geocaching; botany and edible plants; crosscut saw and axe demonstration; environmental regulations; heritage resources; soils and wetlands; ecology of Leicester Hollow; and genetic resource management.

More winners of this award

2023: Statewide Conservation Trails Crew

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

2015: Iowa DNR Americorps Trail Crew - Iowa

2014: Alaska Trails Mobile Tool Trailers

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