Geremy Anderson, of Brainerd, recently completed a summer of service with Conservation Corps Minnesota, working on Superior National Forest trails. From June through August, 43 Conservation Corps young adults improved hiking, portage, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ATV and interpretive trails in the forest.
Anderson served on a crew of four other AmeriCorps members, completing projects along the Superior Hiking Trail, Pincushion Mountain Biking Trail, Kekekabic Trail, Flathorn Gegoka Ski Trail and other locations. Corps members cleared and maintained more than 127 miles of trails, completed 8,170-feet of tread work and installed 535-feet of boardwalk, 49 steps, 8 drainage features and 13 bridges this summer. Crews worked and camped in eight-day stretches, accomplishing priority projects directed by the U.S. Forest Service. After long work days, crews prepared their own meals and engaged in outdoor recreation.
The seasonal trail program, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, began in summer 2009 and concluded this summer 2012. Throughout the four-year grant period, Conservation Corps created 182 new job opportunities with over 95,000 hours of direct person-hours engaged in training and on-the-ground trail rehabilitation. In total, corps members cleared and maintained over 630 miles of trail, reconstructed five miles of trail tread, removed 8,000 hazard trees and installed or replaced 4,000 feet of boardwalk, 20 bridges, 400 steps and 220 drainage features.
Conservation Corps programs provide hands-on environmental stewardship and service-learning opportunities for young adults, age 18 to 25, while accomplishing conservation, natural resource management and emergency response work. Beside marketable job skills, corps members receive professional certifications in chain-saw safety and first aid. After completing their service term, participants receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award for college or student loan expenses.
For more information on Conservation Corps programs, call 651-209-9900 or visit conservationcorps.org.