With the summer season just around the corner and the crew leaders arriving in less than a week, it is easy to get caught up in the preparations for what is to come. Although there is great importance in pushing on in what we do and continuing to connect young people with the outdoors and support our public land partners through on-the-ground conservation efforts, I want to take a moment to look back at what we have accomplished in the past year and celebrate that before diving in to this season.
First, let’s start with last season. In 2015, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy – Conservation Corps employed thirty-six student interns who completed over 11,500 hours of service with the National Park Service and USDA Forest Service. Of those thirty-six interns, at least 25% of them have gone on to pursue further job opportunities immediately related to conservation work after the position. Three of them are even getting ready to put on their green and grey and work for the National Park Service this summer. To find out more about last season, check out the previous blog post: A Season’s Reflection.
After the season ended, the Conservancy did not stop working to connect youth with public lands and conservation work. Throughout the year, the Conservancy brought a half dozen groups up to Rocky Mountain National Park for full day or overnight programs engaging them in volunteer projects and sharing with them the myriad of career opportunities in the National Park Service. Of these groups, nearly 90% of youth were first-time visitors to Rocky from the Denver Metro area.
On account of this realization from these events, the Conservancy also began to foster stronger connections with youth support organizations to help connect more young people with the Park and opportunities available in it, including the Conservation Corps.
Beyond the Conservation Corps, the Conservancy is excited to be able to announce the success of the Cascade Cottages Campaign! This success ensures the protection of the largest remaining private in-holding in Rocky Mountain National Park. Visit the following link for more details: Cascade Cottages.
Now, as we dust the cobwebs off the gear, let’s look forward to the upcoming season. In 2016, the Conservancy is again excited to support six Conservation Corps crews working with Rocky Mountain National Park’s trails, resource stewardship, and historic preservation crews and the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests’ Boulder, Canyon Lakes, and Sulphur Ranger District. Anticipated projects point towards the crews having very productive and hard working season. Furthermore, the Corps is excited to have the support of the National Forest Foundation again for the 2016 season.
In addition to the Corps season, the Conservancy is busy scheduling several service learning projects for groups from Denver, including two overnight camping trips.
Happy Summer Everyone!