WASHINGTON, MARCH 11, 2014 AT 2:15 PM EDT - The U.S. Forest Service and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) today recognized 24 groups as new 21st Century Conservation Service Corps member organizations, bringing the total number of 21CSC member organizations to 124.
“Our continuing work with these organizations is not only in concert with President Obama’s goal of reconnecting Americans to the great outdoors, it also furthers, in a cost-effective way, crucial projects that improve forest health, watershed restoration and recreational opportunities,” said Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie.
The 21CSC, one of the top priorities of the President’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, is a collaborative effort to put America’s youth and veterans to work protecting, restoring and enhancing America’s public lands. Through the 21CSC, young people and veterans will gain personal and professional skills while building a lifelong connection to the outdoors.
“As we see every day in AmeriCorps, young people and veterans bring extraordinary skill and passion to conservation service. We welcome these organizations – including our own AmeriCorps NCCC – to the growing 21CSC family, and applaud their commitment to preserving our national treasures while building economic opportunity for those who serve,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Federal agencies, including the Forest Service, are working with the 21CSC member organizations to match them with projects this fiscal year. Projects are expected to help the agency accomplish critical needs, such as hazardous fuels reduction, watershed and forest restoration, the eradication of invasive species, restoration and maintenance of recreational trails, facilities and historic structures, research and monitoring support, and volunteer management.
The new 24 organizations are:
1. AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, Nationwide
2. Appalachian Trail Conservancy, W.V.
3. Canyon Country Youth Corps, Utah
4. Common Ground: The New Haven Ecology Project, Conn.
5. Community Training Works, Inc., Fla
6. Council Summer Work Crew, Idaho
7. FIELD- Kern Service and Conservation Corps, Calif.
8. Greater Miami Service Corps), Fla.
9. Green City Force, N.Y.
10. Latin American Youth Center, D.C.
11. Lopez Island Conservation Corps, Wash.
12. Maryland Conservation Corps, Md.
13. Montana Wilderness Association, Mont.
14. Nevada Outdoor School, Nev.
15. New Jersey Youth Corps, N.J.
16. Outward Bound Adventures, Calif.
17. Pacific Northwest Trail Association, Wash.
18. The Work Group- New Jersey Youth Corps-Camden, N.J.
19. Washington People & Parks, D.C.
20. White Mountain Youth Corps, Ariz.
21. Wilderness Inquiry, Minn.
22. Lawn Life, Ohio
23. Youth Conservation Corps, Ill.
24. Youth Employment Program Inc., Idaho
The 21CSC is supported by the federal 21CSC National Council, which includes members from USDA, DOI, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA, the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Council on Environmental Quality, and by the Partnership for the 21CSC, which was launched in June of 2013 as a collaborative group to support the 21CSC.
New member organizations will continue to be recognized on a rolling basis. All local, state, regional, tribal, university, federal or non-profit organizations that currently operate programs for youth and veterans and that meet the eight 21CSC program principles are encouraged to submit a letter of interest (LOI) to 21CSC@fs.fed.us or USDA Forest Service, RHVR, Merlene Mazyck, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Mailstop Code: 1125, Washington, DC 20250-1125. The next deadline for submitting an LOI is May 1st 2014.
For more information and a full list of member organizations, visit the partner-hosted website at: www.21csc.org.