Check out this video from Yellowstone this summer!
In its third year now, this program brought 53 Groundwork youth from across the country together to work at Yellowstone National Park over the course of two weeks in August 2014, as part of a partnership between Groundwork USA and the National Park Service (NPS). Groundwork youth from urban centers across the country are working alongside Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) staff on a variety of maintenance projects for the park. The purpose of this unique collaboration is to give the youth the opportunity to work with conservation professionals outside their hometowns and to see their important work back home as part of a broader environmental movement. Groundwork USA was thrilled that the YCC within Yellowstone National Park was able to arrange for two sessions of the program to take place – thanks to Deputy Chief of Resource Education & Youth Programs, Judy Knuth Folts, Youth Program Manager Bob Fuhrmann, and YCC co-directors Mike Coonan and Laura Del Ross. This program was also financially supported by the Washington DC Youth Program Office of NPS and the National Park Foundation.
Here’s a glimpse of their first day this summer: The youth flew into Bozeman, Montana and were greeted by YCC staff who transported the youth to the YCC camp near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone. The youth checked into their dorms, received hard hats and PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and their uniforms. The evening included fun and games and ice breakers to help start things off. The youth were then divided into three teams and the next morning headed off to their various work sites which included axing bumber logs to keep drivers on the road, painting picnic tables throughout norther Yellowstone, and working on the Mandrake trail. That evening they learned all about bears within Yellowstone and how to protect themselves in an encounter. This included practice with bear spray on willing “bears.”
And here we have some fun and inspiring conversations with Jairo from Lawrence, MA, Adrian from Las Cruces, NM, and Ashante from Denver, CO, all loving their time at Yellowstone.
More news to come!
Groundwork USA’s in-depth webinars on strategies for reclaiming brownfields at varying stages of that process can be found here.
Read about the Groundwork Denver Green Team youth and the employment and mentoring experiences they have had with the U.S. Forest Service here.
Read about Groundwork Portland’s brownfields advocacy here in the Portland Tribune.
A former Yonkers Green Teamer, now interning at Yellowstone National Park, narrates here how her experience with Groundwork Hudson Valley transformed her relationship with the natural environment, as well as her understanding of family, community, and neighborhood.
Groundwork New Orleans has been promoting and building green infrastructure projects in the City of New Orleans over the last few years, in particular through its Earth Lab project. In a lot adjacent to the Healing Center on St Claude Avenue in the Marigny, it has installed knolls and dips to form a “bioswale,” a modified ditch that holds rainwater for short periods while water-loving plants filter it as it soaks into the ground. Groundwork uses the lot to teach alternative approaches to water management.
With this new grant of $100,000 from the City’s Sewerage & Water Board, Groundwork New Orleans will expand its footprint in the City by building a similar site called the ‘Lower9 Earth Lab’ at the corner of Caffin Avenue and North Prieur Street. Read all about it here.
Groundwork Trusts from across the U.S. nominated seven youth for in-depth profiles that explore their passion and their commitment to the community and the natural environment around them, and highlight their growth as inspiring leaders and aspiring environmental professionals. Read about these incredible Groundwork youth and their journeys in these one-page stories:
The Partnership for a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, a diverse group of private, public, and nonprofit partners announced a list of “100 Projects to Restore America” at an Aspen Institute-sponsored summit in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on Friday. The 100 projects showcase the variety of work being completed this year non-profits across the country, and includes Groundwork USA’s Yellowstone Program, Groundwork Doña Ana’s Xeriscape Las Cruces and Groundwork Anacostia’s Urban Archeology Corps, projects that will restore vital ecological habitat and train youth in the skills and experience to become the next great generation of American conservation and community leaders. Congratulations to Groundwork Dona Ana and Anacostia, and to the Groundwork network!