VYCC’s mission is:
Take action and
by working and
with the land.
Our Program Principles are:
The model for a successful VYCC experience is: small, diverse groups of young people working outdoors on projects that make a difference.
Participants are called Corps Members. Most are between the ages of 15 and 26. They join VYCC either as paid employees or as paid AmeriCorps Members. Their team is called a crew. Crews are organized by five project areas.
Four project areas are within the Conservation Program, and projects take place across the state, mostly on public lands. Project areas are: water quality (erosion mitigation, tree planting, invasive species removal), forest health (wildlife habitat improvement and invasive species removal), ‘build’ (backcountry & state park construction), and sustainable trails.
The fifth project area combines sustainable agriculture & food security. Work and learning take place on VYCC’s 400-acre campus which includes a certified organic farm and commercial kitchen.
Corps Members do not need work experience or specific skills to join a crew. Crew requirements range from no prior work experience needed, to required technical and/or leadership skills.
Most crews focus on a single project area, allowing VYCC to increase positive environmental impact through project completion and education.
VYCC was established in 1985 as a program of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation. An enthusiastic outdoorswoman and organizer, Doris “Dot” Evans helped found VYCC. Thomas Hark directed the fledgling program and helped it grow into a statewide nonprofit organization.
We are one of 130 youth corps across the U.S.
VYCC alumni are leaders in state government and nonprofits; are teaching the next generation of young people; are caring for our environment in their professional and personal lives; and are engaged citizens.
Learn more about VYCC as a non-profit 501(c)3, our fiscal health and history, including 990s and audited annual financial statements here.
“Coming out of high school, I wanted to do something meaningful, but couldn’t afford to not work. VYCC was the perfect place to do outdoor work and also get paid. VYCC has been a place I turn back to every time I’m not really sure what I want to do next. I come back when I need to reset. VYCC is the perfect space to accomplish this because of all the time spent in the woods to center ourselves, reconnect with one’s self, work hard, and make strong connections with people.”
Sable, VYCC Corps Member