Why hire an AmeriCorps field crew?
Conservation Corps members in Minnesota and Iowa are enrolled in AmeriCorps and value hard work, community service and environmental stewardship. They are well trained, equipped and ready for projects throughout the Midwest. The Corps serves primarily government, education and nonprofit organizations for the common good.
How does it work?
• Crews are located throughout northern, central and southern Minnesota and central Iowa.
• Each Conservation Corps crew includes 1 or 2 leaders and 4 or 5 members, all 18-25 years old.
• District Managers in Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Saint Paul and Mankato schedule and oversee 6 to 9 crews in their region. The Iowa Program Manager schedules and oversees 3 crews.
• Crews complete natural resource projects lasting from one day to several months throughout the Midwest.
• Projects should support a public resource using public funds. • Corpsmembers are enrolled in AmeriCorps service for an 8 to 10 month term. They are program participants (not employees) and join the Corps to give back to the community while gaining natural resource skills.
• Crews typically work four 10-hour days Monday through Thursday, late February to mid-December.
• For local projects, crews report to the shop at 7 am and return by 5:30 pm. Equipment maintenance, load time, drive time and a 30-minute lunch break is included in the 10-hour day.
• For non-local projects, crews can camp near the work site. Crews typically camp Monday through Thursday, but are available for up to 12 consecutive days for longer projects. Crews are equipped to camp in warm or mild temperatures; in cold weather, crews stay in the least expensive hotel closest to the project site. Food and lodging costs will be negotiated in the contract.
How does it work?
How much training do the crews have?
• 15-20% of the corps member term is dedicated to technical and personal skill training and professional certifications.
• Project sponsors should incorporate education into the project through site introductions, ecological and social benefits and other project specific skills.
Crews come fully equipped
• Chain saws, brush saws, power-pole saws and power tools such as drills, routers, generators
• Hand tools such as shovels, rakes, picks, pulaskis, post-pounders, hammers, wheelbarrows
• GPS handheld units
• Backpack sprayers and handheld herbicide application equipment
• 4WD pick-up trucks with trailers to haul equipment or project material
• Slip-on firefighting units
• ATVs, snowmobiles, six-wheel Gators or Rangers, motorboats, canoes
PERSONAL AND SAFETY EQUIPMENT:
• Prescribed burn gear including Nomex attire, bladder bags, fire shelters, drip torches
• Rubber boots, hip waders, chest waders, PFDs
• Camping supplies including tents, sleeping bags, stoves, water containers, coolers
• Personal protective gear including steel-toe boots, hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, ear protection, chaps
How do I request a crew?
1. Fill out a project request form. Download Minnesota or Iowa
2. E-mail the completed project request form to the Manager closest to your project.
3. The Manager will contact you with crew availability and negotiate project terms and rates.
4. A contract will be drafted and agreed upon by both parties.
5. The project will be scheduled and work can begin.
Once the project begins:
• Regional managers will provide project planning and logistical support if needed, including materials acquisition and project design.
• Project sponsor involvement will vary depending on the nature of the project. Some oversight is necessary to orient the crew and regular check-ins are recommended.
What can Conservation Corps crews do?
Cedar tree revetments
Coir blanket/roll installation
Exotic species removal
Shoreline & stream bank restoration
Rain garden installation
Timber stand improvement
SURVEYING & DATA COLLECTION
Tree & plant surveys
Fish & wildlife surveys
Man-made feature surveys
Water-quality sampling & monitoring
CONSTRUCTION & CARPENTRY
Step, retaining wall, boardwalk or bridge construction
Trail clearing and maintenance
Natural resource facility construction & maintenance