Updates & Stories

Conserving Through Generations

Incidentally, this first post about my grandfather falls on a fortuitous date. On April 5, 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill creating the CCC in America. Then called the Emergency Conservation Work Program, it conveyed a message of hope to the young men in America. The recession we are facing now is not as grave as it was then. Unlike my grandfather, most of my friends and family are currently employed, most Americans have no trouble putting food on the table and the wages I earn through the Corps don’t get sent to dependents back home. However, Conservation Corps still instills ethical values in and gives hope to its hardworking youth. For while time may run linearly, everything, even back breaking work and service to family and country, churns in circular patterns, connecting the past to the present and to the future. Read More

Mothers needn’t worry

The Conservation Corps is also very concerned with my well-being. Less “Put on a jacket, it’s cold out,” and more “Don’t cut your leg off with that chainsaw.” The Corps takes safety and preparedness extremely seriously. Upon joining the Corps, each member is issued a full suite of personal protective equipment (PPE) that we will use through the rest of the year including task-specific hardhats, ear protection, multiple pairs of safety glasses, Kevlar-lined boots, chainsaw chaps, and gloves. Even better, the gloves and boots fit, the chaps are new, and prescription safety glasses are an option. Read More

After the Flood

It was easy to complain about the mold. There was nothing good to say about it, and for weeks our crew had stared at little else. Last December, I was part of the third Conservation Corps of Minnesota Hurricane Sandy Deployment. Our primary work involved going into flooded houses and gutting the moldy sheet-rock and insulation. The mold soaked our gloves, it stunk up our clothes, and it seemed to never end, growing worse by the day. But we worked at the mold, house after house, block after block for eight hours a day, six days a week, for a month. Read More

Finding the Switch

Being on a Youth Outdoors crew in South Minneapolis is like walking into a dark room and not knowing where the light switch is. You cautiously open the door, reach across all the obvious areas of the wall, and hope that the house was built after 1925. Then… finally as you are crouch behind a desk with your hand between stacks of books, you finally find the switch. And “aha!” you get it. Something amazing happens. Or literally, the light comes on. Read More

Enter to win: Our Time photo contest

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa is holding a photo contest – called Our Time – to showcase the incredible work our corps members… Read More

East Coast deployment continues

Our final team of corps members deployed to the East Coast, from left: Courtney Kinder, Ross Beazell, Kristina Pechacek, Hannah… Read More

Where Are They Now? Jane Sunram

Though Jane Sunram served in the Corps more than 30 years ago, she still remembers her summer in the Young Adult Conservation Corps as a great opportunity that included hard work and changed her relationship with nature. Her crew was based in cabins at Lake Itasca, working days in the field. Read More

Summer Youth Corps needs you

The Summer Youth Corps (SYC) is looking to hire qualified high school students from across the state and needs your help to get the word… Read More

First Weeks: Blue Smurf Pee and the Coolest Work Ever

For our crew's first project this year, we basal-sprayed buckthorn at a section of Fort Snelling State Park. The project was an ideal introduction to a typical day in Conservation Corps. Gridding allowed us to familiarize ourselves while becoming equally acquainted with the shiny bark and spiny outline of our most common foe. As we stepped from sapling to sapling, bent over, visually focusing on each silver stem and mentally trying to focus on the riddles we shared with each other to pass the time, we occasionally came across blue patches in the snow near or beneath rabbit droppings. Read More