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21st Century Conservation Service Corps Partnerships Continue to Grow

HistoriCorps, a member of the 21st Century Conservation Corps, began in 2009 to help save and sustain historic places for public benefit through partnerships that foster public involvement, engage volunteers, and provide training and education. HistoriCorps has partnered with 40 organizations and property owners on the preservation of more than 100 historic structures in 13 states. More than 500 volunteers, veterans, youth corps, and students have participated in these projects. (Courtesy of HistoriCorps.org)

HistoriCorps, a member of the 21st Century Conservation Corps, began in 2009 to help save and sustain historic places for public benefit through partnerships that foster public involvement, engage volunteers, and provide training and education. HistoriCorps has partnered with 40 organizations and property owners on the preservation of more than 100 historic structures in 13 states. More than 500 volunteers, veterans, youth corps, and students have participated in these projects. (Courtesy of HistoriCorps.org)

To date, 100 organizations have joined the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, a bold partnership of key federal – including the U.S. Forest Service – state, local and nonprofit leaders and stakeholders that provide young people, veterans and other under-represented communities an opportunity to engage in public land and water restoration and conservation.

These organizations represent a broad spectrum of diversity, representing all regions in the country. Among the organizations that recently joined are the Earth Conservation Corps, Washington, D.C.; Milwaukee Community Service Corps, Milwaukee, Wis.; Environment for the Americas, Boulder, Colo.; and Siskiyou Mountain Club, Ashland, Ore.

“Many Forest Service employees, including me, got their start in youth and conservation corps such as the Youth Conservation Corps,” said Jim Pena, associate deputy chief of the National Forest System for the Forest Service. “The 21CSC is a natural extension of this work because it allows us to expand corps partnerships and the candidate pool for the next generation of conservation stewards while getting critical restoration work done on forest lands.”

The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps National Council is committed to bringing into the fold organizations that operate in urban areas, and engage minority, youth and veteran populations in conservational and environmental stewardship training and education.

Ensuring that member organizations are representative of the diversity and inclusion principles exemplified by corps is a high priority.

In addition to the announcement of new members, 21CSC is proud to announce a new partnership as well. On Jan. 8, U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced a $1 million pledge from American Eagle Outfitters Inc. to advance the youth and conservation initiative.

We want to expand the network of organizations, and encourage organizations that work with youth and veterans on conservation and environmental issues to submit a Letter of Interest by the next deadline, March 1, 2014. Letters should follow the guidelines.

Letters of Interest may be submitted either by email to 21CSC@fs.fed.us or by mailing to USDA Forest Service, RHVR, ATTN: Merlene Mazyck, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Mailstop Code: 1125, Washington, DC 20250-1125.

Questions or comments regarding the 21CSC may also be submitted through the email address.

Additional information and a list of all member organizations are available online.

Young people with the Sumter National Forest Youth Conservation Corps carve out a new trail in 2011. Each year, the forest hires young people from the community to work on forest projects, giving them exposure to the different careers available in the U.S. Forest Service and teaches them skills that might help lead them toward future careers in natural resources. (U.S. Forest Service)

Young people with the Sumter National Forest Youth Conservation Corps carve out a new trail in 2011. Each year, the forest hires young people from the community to work on forest projects, giving them exposure to the different careers available in the U.S. Forest Service and teaches them skills that might help lead them toward future careers in natural resources. (U.S. Forest Service)

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