2019 All Corps Season Recap

December 11, 2019 | AllCorps, Conservation, Farm

224 VYCC Corps Members worked from as early as March all the way to the end of November on VYCC Food & Farm and Conservation crews. Crews improved communities in every Vermont county and in forests and mountain tops in New Hampshire and New York.

These young people (from as young as 15 to as old as 30) gave their all this year, really embracing our #LetsDigIn season motto. Check out our social feeds for fun and exciting individual stories from the season. 

What does it take to remove 8 acres of invasive plants? Our crews could tell you!

With Food & Farm crews in Richmond and Newport, young people across northern Vermont worked together to produce a bountiful harvest for Health Care Share families. Corps Members also took the time to learn how to cook with the vegetables they grew, serving lunch to each other every day. They also led/took part in three large farm dinners, which hosted over 300 total people!

Together, Food & Farm Corps Members:

  • prepared 5,562 Health Care Share boxes of food that were distributed statewide;
  • fed 431 Vermont families who participated in the Health Care Share, including 300 children and 162 seniors;
  • grew 52,750 lbs of produce;
  • and gleaned 4,654 lbs of produce from other Vermont farms.

Conservation Crews were scattered throughout the state improving public lands from Pownal to Troy. They learned carpentry while building a massive wood shed at Little River State Park; they learned water quality management and ecology while pulling invasive plants from kayaks in Lake Champlain; and they learned how to work together as teammates and leaders.

This season, 163 Conservation Corps Members:

  • Constructed/maintained 50 miles of trail
  • Constructed/repaired 91 puncheons
  • Constructed 5 composter toilets
  • Constructed 4 kiosks
  • Repaired 5 leantos
  • Installed 12 bear boxes
  • Installed 42 check damns
  • Installed 89 waterbars
  • Maintained 475 drainage structures
  • Built 22 staircases
  • Placed 62 step stones
  • Installed 25 signs
  • Removed 8 acres of invasive species
  • Planted 736 native habitat pollinator plants
  • Removed 8 tons of trash

In addition to the impact all our Corps Members made on hundreds of communities, we are most proud of the personal growth each young person gained while working with the VYCC.

Hard work is a catalyst for learning. Our Corps Members:

  • Participated in a deliberate leadership focused on professional growth and personal empowerment
  • Gained grit by rising to the challenges and learning health and wellness practices
  • Learned to work with people who are different; this isn’t always easy but it’s an essential life skill
  • Wrote a resume and cover letter while earning a Career Readiness Certificate
  • Took great pride in presenting their work to the public
  • Cooked and shared meals together, learning healthy eating and nutrition practices

Looking ahead to 2020, we are excited about plans to enhance the VYCC experience so that every alumni leaves with a set of skills and knowledge that carries them through successful personal and professional careers. Stay tuned for more details.