Denver, CO November 26, 2013– The Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced on November 12th that Groundwork Denver is one of 91 initial organizations nationwide that have been approved as member organizations to help implement the Obama Administration’s 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC). The 21CSC is a national collaborative effort to put America’s youth and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s natural and cultural resources.
“Youth unemployment is close to all time highs while resources to support our public lands are low. National Parks are shutting down as the next generation of conservation enthusiasts struggle to find work at McDonalds. The 21CSC hopes to change the tides by getting more youth to work on our public lands. Obesity and nature deficits disproportionately affect lower income urban communities. Efforts like the 21CSC are encouraging to connect more kids to nature and help represent the changing face of Americas future in preserving and protecting our cherished public lands. We are thankful and excited to be a part of this new program.” – Shane Wright, Groundwork Denver Youth Program Director
The 21CSC engages young Americans aged 15-25, and veterans up to age 35. Through the 21CSC, young people and veterans across the nation will accomplish meaningful work, gaining important personal and professional skills and build a lifelong connection to the outdoors.
All 21CSC participants gain skills, and deliver results that include enhancing recreational opportunities and access, protecting wildlife, restoring impaired watersheds, removing invasive species, increasing energy efficiency, preserving historic or cultural sites, enhancing community spaces, coordinating volunteers, supporting monitoring or data needs, responding to natural disasters, reducing hazardous fuels and protecting communities from wildfire.
Increasing diversity and expanding opportunities for all youth and veterans are core 21CSC principles: all 21CSC member organizations emphasize diversity and inclusion, and the 21CSC National Council will focus in the coming months on recruiting additional member organizations, targeting new programs in diverse areas, and investing in training and career pathways for a diverse group of participants.
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.
For the Federal Register notice inviting letters of interest and outlining the eight principles, visit http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-01/html/2013-15644.htm
For more information, you can visit the partner-hosted website www.21csc.org.