|Great Outdoors Colorado Funds Youth Corps Projects for 2013
On December 11, 2012, the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) board dedicated $500,000 in grants to local governments and land trusts for projects that will engage Colorado youth corps crews – or about 200 young people – on critical conservation projects in 2013.
“The GOCO board is enthusiastic about funding Colorado youth corps projects because they are such sound investments in our outdoors and our youth,” said Lise Aangeenbrug, GOCO’s executive director. “Youth corps participants perform vital work for local governments and land trusts, including fire mitigation, trail maintenance and water conservation. Through this funding, GOCO is helping to train the next generation of land stewards.”
Youth corps members, project sponsors and corps staff all recognize the benefits of these programs for youth and for Colorado.
Stephen Anderson, a 2012 Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC) member, highlights the importance of this work to him personally: “My conservation corps experience has opened my eyes to the satisfaction of hard work and the environment, and has made me realize my potential. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.”
Mark Wertheimer, associate director of the RMYC, said of these projects, “GOCO’s support enables us to employ local youth andyoung adults on priority outdoor community projects. These projects provide high-profile outdoor recreational opportunities for the public while providing a critical pathway for youth corps participants in employment and academic pursuits.”
Nancy Wilson, regional director for Mile High Youth Corps-Colorado Springs, said, “The Waldo Canyon Fire has left us with not only a huge amount of restoration work, but the potential for even more ecological destruction and damage to our watersheds and personal property due to erosion and flooding. Through this funding, we now have the opportunity for more youth to become involved. They will provide meaningful service to our community by providing weeks of the wildfire restoration and mitigation work so badly needed in our region.”
And according to Kurt Schroeder, manager of Parks Maintenance, Open Space and Trails for the City of Colorado Springs, “The importance of this project to our community cannot be overstated. Not only will we be restoring our natural environment that was lost in the fire but we will be engaging youth in the rebirth of this important open space.”
CYCA, which managed the request-for-proposal process for the $500,000 in local government and open space funds, received 30 proposals totaling $1.1 million in requests for youth corps crews. Of these project requests, the GOCO board approved 19 in 14 counties statewide. The GOCO board approved similar funding for youth corps projectsin 2011 and 2012.
Here’s a sample of anticipated project outcomes in 2013:
Colorado Gives Day Thank-You
4 miles of riparian restoration work
24.5 miles of trail corridor clearing
6 miles of trail maintenance and rehabilitation
8.25 miles of new trail construction
315 acres of tree thinning and fire mitigation
4,250 feet of new fence construction
1.5 miles of Russian olive/tamarisk removal along river/creek corridors
17.75 acres of tamarisk/Russian olive removal
CYCA thanks its extended networks of friends, families and colleagues who generously supported our work on Colorado Gives Day this year! Your contributions mean that more young people can pursue land, water and energy conservation work in the great state of Colorado. Thank you, once again! Here's to a successful and productive 2013.
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