New Clean Water Fund (CWF) RFP timeline for 2025 projects! RFP application closes June 30, 2024.

Updates & Stories

Project Get Outdoors

This year, Conservation Corps placed 12 young adults in year-long positions – called Individual Placements – with conservation nonprofits or government agencies. These members serve… Read More

Restoration by fire

Every spring and fall, field crew members perform prescribed burns to restore and maintain natural prairies and oak savannas. Burning cleans up the… Read More

Schmidt Foundation equips southeast Minnesota burn crews

The Carl & Verna Schmidt Foundation has significantly increased the capacity of southeast Minnesota crews to restore prairie and oak savannas using prescribed burns. Grants… Read More

Rain Garden Installation: Conservation Corps St. Paul Crew Edition

It took three full days of trial and error, ingenuity, and plain ol’ hard work to turn a soggy patch of sod into a mud pit that is just beginning to look like it could someday become a rain garden. On projects like this, it is simply amazing what a positive attitude and encouraging environment can provide. Sure, try that crazy but plausible idea. If I let you throw a mud ball at me, can I throw one at you?  Bob is covered in mud and has to run to the airport for a flight directly from work.  Bob forgot a change of clothes. Read More

Conserving Through Generations: A Home Away From Home

The original Civilian Conservation Corps represented more than just a job or a way to gain skills for future employment. For most enrollees, my grandfather included, it was a home away from home, a mini sub-culture of 18-25 year old boys who became co-workers, comrades, and family. The camps the enrollees lived in were similar to modern day military bases. Pictured here is a schematic of camp labeling all the buildings which used to stand there. Everything enrollees could want or need was offered in camp. They ate together, slept in the same barracks, and learned together in the schoolhouse. If they were sick they saw the camp doctor, if they needed cigarettes or snacks outside of meal times they were bought at the Camp Canteen. Read More

It’s a wrap: YO participants lead service projects

By Li Her and Wah Wah, Conservation Corps Youth Council members The Youth Outdoors spring session recently wrapped up with youth leading projects and educational activities… Read More

Project Get Outdoors

I am currently a Conservation Corps member in the Individual Placements program, working with a nonprofit organization called Project Get Outdoors (GO). Project GO’s mission is to get youth outdoors by making safe and memorable after school and summertime outdoor experiences available to those most in need. As technology becomes more prevalent in our daily lives and screen time increases for our youth, many have become disconnected from nature and struggle with obesity, anxiety disorders like ADD and ADHD, and other health issues. By connecting youth with adults passionate about the outdoors, we hope to foster in youth a lifelong appreciation for the wonder of nature and its calming health benefits. Prior to 2013, Project GO operated strictly out of the southeast corner of the state, but we are currently pursuing expansion in the Metro and beyond. Read More

Summer Youth Corps Crew Training Begins

The Summer Youth Corps is made up of 137 youth, 26 AmeriCorps crew leaders, two swampers, two cooks and five head staff members. 30 percent of the Summer Youth Corps youth crew members and crew leaders are deaf and hard-of-hearing. Summer Youth Corps travels to various locations across Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota to manage natural resources and learn about ecology, Minnesota’s history and American Sign Language. Summer Youth Corps youth crew members come from diverse geographic locations, and this diversity of the program is what makes the summer unforgettable. Crew members also walk away with one of the greatest experiences of their lives. Read More

The Star

This week will be my last week of having a Youth Outdoors crew for the spring. It has prompted a lot of reflection for me as well as my crew. For me it feels odd to be finishing up so soon. It seems like just yesterday was our first day when we were all anxiously awaiting a new group, a new schedule and a lot of unknowns. Read More