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Conservation Corps partners on historic restoration project


Maren Schwenzfeier sanded a church pew while serving on a HOPE crew at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Indiana.

Maren Schwenzfeier sanded a church pew while serving on a HOPE crew at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Indiana.

During 16 days in August, a six-person Conservation Corps crew stripped and restored church pews at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Indiana, which is operated and maintained by the National Park Service. Preservation expert Kenny Schwartz guided the HOPE (Hands-On Preservation Experience) crew as they worked on the historic preservation project, part of a National Trust for Historic Preservation initiative to train young people in preservation crafts while helping to protect historic cultural sites on public lands.

The project was funded by National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service, which also provided oversight and expertise. The Corps Network and Conservation Corps provided crew labor, tools, supervision and logistics support. Crew members included Mike Van Buren (crew leader), Maren Schwenzfeier, Jordan Christie, Matt Runge, Bre Caso and Marie Berglund.