Barnesville, Schuylkill County, PA – Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and other state officials visited two projects underway by the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps at Locust Lake State Park, Schuylkill County, and Clarks Summit Borough, Lackawanna County.
The highly acclaimed Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps is a Wolf Administration initiative offering work experience, job training, and educational opportunities to young people who complete recreation and conservation projects on Pennsylvania’s public lands.
The program helps protect and restore natural resources while providing young people with the knowledge to be good stewards of the environment.
“Beginning its third year of operation, the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps certainly is emerging as a ‘win-win’ effort for all involved,” Dunn said. “You young men and women who will accomplish so much here at Locust Lake are indicative of the corps’ spirit and commitment I’ve seen in state parks and forests across the state.”
Dunn joined other participants at the state park event in meeting members of the Hazleton-based youth corps and visiting one of their project sites, where they are rebuilding trails and repairing fencing.
The DCNR group then traveled to Clarks Summit, Lackawanna County, where Wilkes-Barre-based youth corps members are helping the local shade tree commission inventory trees.
Employed across the state in paid positions, corps members have contributed to public lands by undertaking light construction, invasive species management, and the rehabilitation of green space, shorelines, nature trails, and park and forest structures.
Initial roll-out of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps in July 2016 was financed through the Department of Labor & Industry’s Reemployment Fund. The Department of Labor & Industry remains a program co-sponsor.
The corps is based in state park and forest locations in rural and urban areas, particularly those areas close to disadvantaged communities and school districts.
Crews are dispatched within the region, working on public lands with resource and infrastructure project needs.
The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps consists of two components: a seven-week, summer program for youth between the ages of 15-18; and a 10-month program for young adults ages 18-25.
Locations were set up across the state to help facilitate participation by youth and young adults in disadvantaged communities. Crew bases include:
- Saint Marys
To oversee the program, DCNR recently appointed Michael D. Piaskowski as manager of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps. Statewide efforts are overseen by the Student Conservation Association (SCA), America’s oldest and largest youth conservation organization. For more information, visit www.thesca.org.
For more details on the Pennsylvania Outdoors Corps, visit DCNR’s website.