280 individual VYCC corps members worked from as early as March all the way until the end of November on our Farm and Conservation crews. From sowing seeds, to improving state park infrastructures, to removing invasive species, to harvesting organic vegetables for Vermonters in need, our crews learned, earned, and yearned to make their communities better. Our crews spread across New York State, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and of course every county in Vermont.
In July, WGDR, Plainfield Community Radio host Walter Opuszynski had our Washington County Community Crew (WashCo) on his show to talk about their work in the area.
“The official opening its part of the Take The Lake event. People could walk across the dam to do the 14-mile event, but that could be dangerous or impossible if the water was running too high. Now, they can dismount and push their bikes across the bridge and around the 1.8-mile section of shoreline between the dam and the campground parking lot. The Youth Conservation Corps, made up of 16- and 17-year-olds, helped clear the trail, which had fallen trees blocking it after Hurricane Matthew.”
But fires aren't always an emergency, so later in the episode we'll sit around a campfire with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and appreciate the warmth of the glowing flames.
In July, VYCC’s Spike 5 crew tackled a substernal trails assessment and repair project for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife (F&W) on Snake Mountain. The crew worked with Ariel Burgess, field staff for F&W, to hike the Snake Mountain Summit Trail in its entirety, assessing and flagging trail features in need of maintenance.
Join us to hear the results of a ground-breaking study that shows the connection of land conservation to the Vermont economy and jobs, including: natural goods and services, recreation, fishing, hunting, farming, timber, tourism, and more
Prepared for mosquitos and ticks? Slips, trips and falls? Poison plants? Dehydration? Branches such as the one that just dropped from the tree towering above?
“There are a lot of reasons you wear a hard hat,” Belliveau says. “That’s one of them.”
“Despite all the rain, the NCYCC crew was actively working at the Brunswick Nature Park and was able to accomplish great work,” said Jesica Blake, director of stewardship and community conservation with the Coastal Land Trust. “From building trails to restoring longleaf pine habitat, their effort and hard work continues to better the park for people who visit and the wildlife that live there.
Lyra Aquino has picked up many skills in her three summers of back-breaking labor with the North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps.
The 19-year-old from Hillsborough can build a fence, clear a trail and swing a fire rake, a hazel hoe and a limb lopper like a pro. She can set up and break down camp without anyone knowing she's been there.
But perhaps her greatest lessons have been perseverance and patience.