Matthew Blair of Brainerd recently completed a summer of service with the Minnesota Conservation Corps, working on Superior National Forest trails.
The "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" provided a $557,000 grant through the U.S. Forest Service to fund 40 new Minnesota Conservation Corps seasonal positions. Young adults, working in Superior National Forest from June through August, cleared and maintained more than 210 miles of hiking, portage, cross-country skiing, snowmobile, ATV and interpretive trails.
Corps members camped at project sites during eight-day trips, working 10 hours a day. After six-day breaks, crews returned to the forest for six consecutive trips to accomplish priority projects directed by the Forest Service.
The Conservation Corps' AmeriCorps program provides hands-on environmental stewardship and service-learning opportunities to young adults, age 18 to 25, while accomplishing conservation and natural resource management projects. Besides 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 www.conservationcorps.org.
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