COVID Conservation Corps

Alaska's Case Studies on Trails Workforce Development

This webinar will present the successes and lessons from the COVID-19 Conservation Corps programs in Juneau, Anchorage, and Sitka that trained and employed out-of-work Alaskans in 2020.

Presented by:

Event Details

** This event has passed **

March 10, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Mountain Time)
12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (Central Time)
01:00 PM to 02:00 PM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost: FREE


Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
Learning Credits
are available for this webinar.

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Webinar Outline

CELEBRATING OUR 150th WEBINAR! Join us for the live webinar for the chance to win a gift basket with some trail goodies!

Trails have been a refuge for many during the pandemic, but did you know they also created jobs? Faced with a canceled tourism season and high unemployment rates across Alaska, local governments directed CARES funding to trail nonprofits to train and hire residents impacted by the pandemic. Inspired by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, these Alaska CCCs were an innovative way to put people back to work while restoring public infrastructure that benefited communities. Their success makes the case that when we invest in trails, we invest in our people, land, and economy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the genesis and goals of the CCCs in Juneau, Anchorage, and Sitka.
  • Learn about the successes and challenges of each program.
  • Explore how these programs have fostered a new perspective on trail building in Alaska and how to apply these lessons learned.


This webinar qualifies as a Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) course (via LA CES).

Webinar Resources


Webinar Partners


Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Executive Director, Trail Mix, Inc.
Juneau, Alaska

Ryan O’Shaughnessy (he/him) moved to Juneau and began working for Trail Mix in 2015. Ryan enjoys hiking and kayaking in and around Juneau. Blackerby Ridge Trail, with its steep climbs and breathtaking views, is one of his favorite trails. He began working for Trail Mix as the Trail Program Coordinator from 2015 to 2019. He began his role as our executive director in 2020. Prior to joining Trail Mix, Ryan attended Hocking College and worked for the USFS in Northwest Montana.


Kristen Mrozowski, Trails Technician, Alaska Trails
Anchorage, Alaska

Kristen Mrozowski (she/her) is a woman with 10 years in the trails industry who has gone from physical labor, to crew leadership, to trail design, to program development, to project management, and back to physical labor. Kristen got her start working with the Student Conservation Association across the Lower 48 before landing in Alaska in 2016. In 2020 she oversaw the Alaska Trails crews and projects made possible by CARES Act funding. She has also worked with Youth Employment in Parks, Alaska State Parks, and most recently, as a crew member for Interior Trails. She is working towards a career in nursing in the off-season.


Ben Hughey, Executive Director, Sitka Trail Works, Inc.
Sitka, Alaska

Ben Hughey (he/him) launched his career in natural resources right here at Sitka Trail Works as a crew member in 2006. The vocation suited him and he spent college summers working for the local US Forest Service, before joining the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust to build trail in the Cascades. Ben traded the Pulaski for the pen at the Greenway Trust, supporting regional land management planning and public lands advocacy at the local, state, and federal level for six years. A post-Master’s degree environmental policy fellowship took Ben to the other Washington in 2019, where he served as legislative staff for Senator Cory Booker. In 2020, Ben returned home to Sitka and directed the Sitka Conservation Society’s CARES Act funded transitional employment program, leading out-of-work Sitkans on recreation and restoration projects with lasting community benefit. Ben joined Sitka Trail Works as staff in December of 2020 and was hired as the Executive Director in November 2021.


Closed Captioning

We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.

Learning Credits and CEUs

American Trails is proud to be a certified provider of the following learning credits and continuing education opportunities:

  • American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Maintenance (AICP CM)
  • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES PDH) (most HSW approved)
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition
  • CEU/PDH equivalency petition for other accepting organizations

Learning credits are free for attendees for American Trails webinars and the International Trails Symposium, as well as for other conferences, webinars, and workshops we offer credits for. Learn more here.


While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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3,463 views • posted 02/15/2022