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Welcome to the Corps: a letter from alumni

Dear AmeriCorps members,

We are excited to welcome you to the Conservation Corps. Even as alumni we can still recall the feeling of the first few weeks of a new service term; the anticipation of new skills and training, as well as the uncertainty and excitement of meeting the people you will work, live, eat, and sleep under sky with for the next eight months. It is that nervous energy that comes on the edge of a new experience. The clarity of those memories for many of us comes from a fact to which many Corps alumni will gladly testify; the Conservation Corps experience is formative, influential, and uniquely meaningful.

Our excitement for you also comes from knowing the work you have chosen to become part of, and the continuity of effort that you, this year’s service members, represent.  As much, if not more than any other time in Minnesota and Iowa’s history, Conservation Corp crews are irreplaceably vital to the integrity and conservation of these state’s natural heritage. On the fire line, clearing trails, restoring prairies, and combating the spread of invasive species, the work you will be tasked with is where the rubber meets the road. Draw pride and energy knowing that you are afforded an opportunity to make a tangible impact for our community every single day. Your service joins a long legacy of Civilian Conservation Corps, Minnesota Conservation Corps, and CCMI service members. We all take great pride in knowing you are carrying that history of service forward.

In welcoming you to the Conservation Corps, we also want to extend our support. Your experience will without a doubt be unique, and present its own set of challenges and gratifications. However, you are also going to be confronted by difficulties and questions that were shared by Corps alumni during their service terms. Whether your doubts and questions arise on the ninth day of a buckthorn-clearing spike, or from working a project that just doesn’t quite feel like conservation or service, alumni are eager and available to lend our experience and support. You need only to reach out.

We wish and expect all the best for you in the upcoming service term, and hope to connect with many of you along the way.


The Alumni Council