In addition to preparing our 2014 project season, we’ve been busy creating new partnerships and building new relationships with folks around the country who share our passion for preserving our special places. Check out what we’ve been up to!
Off to DC! The Corps Network Conference
As members of The Corps Network and the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, HistoriCorps attended The Corps Network annual conference in Washington, DC, Feb. 8th-10th. With about 100 corps organizations and agencies in attendance from across the nation (From Hawaii, to Alaska, to Florida, to Maine), HistoriCorps continued raise awareness of our mission and build partnerships. Our hope is to offer our projects as hands-on learning experiences for conservation corps, and with the Field School for Saving Places, offer college credit to participants who enroll in the Lamar Community College Historic Preservation Program.
The conference workshops emphasized “education” and “historic preservation” as key themes during the conference. Many discussed “stackable credentials” and “certificates” as ways to add value and credibility to corps members’ experiences; both of which are offered through the Lamar Community College Historic Preservation Program and the HistoriCorps Field School for Saving Places, which we did not hesitate to offer as examples to other organizations and agencies!
Emphasizing the high level of importance and value conservation corps have among our nation’s leaders, both former Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and current Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell spoke about the importance of supporting conservation corps’ efforts. Secretary Jewell also highlighted the need to “engage America’s youth through service on public lands” and encourage “volunteerism.” Considering HistoriCorps offers many volunteer opportunities while engaging young people on our projects, HistoriCorps is leading the effort to support the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (see below for more information about 21CSC).
Congratulations, Corpsmembers of the Year!
Colorado Youth Corps Association – Awards Ceremony
Congratulations to Kelsey Bowers (Mile High Youth Corps), Auston Craig (Southwest Conservation Corps, Four Corners), Ty Duncan (Weld County Youth Conservation Corps), Grant Janka (Steamboat Springs Community Youth Corps), Jacob Mohrlang (Western Colorado Conservation Corps), Isabel Padilla (Rocky Mountain Youth Corps), Anika Pietenpol (Larimer County Conservation Corps), Hope Radford (Mile High Youth Corps, Colorado Springs), Erika Steenburg (Southwest Conservation Corps, Los Valles), and Kathie Wakefield (Boulder County Youth Corps)!
Former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar also attended the ceremony and spoke about the importance of supporting the efforts of the conservation corps. Secretary Salazar also shared his vision of why he helped create the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps in 2011. Several State Representatives presented the awards to the corpsmembers form their districts. Representatives Don Coram (Dist. 58) and Mike McLachlan (Dist. 59) were awarded the “Legislators of the Year” award for their support of the conservation corps. We extend our congratulations and thanked them for helping create such important opportunities!
Promoting our past accomplishments and future opportunities at the Colorado Preservation, Inc. Saving Places Conference
HistoriCorps was also honored to have a moment to share our accomplishments at the “Strengthening Colorado’s Trades” round table discussion. This discussion featured the Historic Preservation Program at Lamar Community College, which has partnered with HistoriCorps Field School for Saving Places. This discussion was led by Terry Alexander, Principal of Stonecraft and a HistoriCorps Project Supervisor.
The round-table discussion was well attended, with many comments emphasizing the need to promote the building trades as a respectable and honorable career choice. Participants included tradesmen and and women, contractors, academics, non-profit administrators, and State-agency officials. We hope HistoriCorps continues to advance the conversation by providing more and more opportunities for people of all ages to try their hand at saving places!
Careers in Natural Resources Summit
Golden, Feb. 18
In July of 2013, Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) joined forces with the Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA) to launch the Careers in Natural Resources Summit, a collaborative initiative dedicated to ensuring that our public lands and open spaces are protected into the future by a new generation of natural resource employees. Current projects include creating a career guide to guide entry-level state and federal job applicants; an online Job Center, set to launch on March 1st as an extension of the Get Outdoors Colorado website; and raising awareness among youth and career influencers about natural resource career opportunities by attending career fairs throughout the state. The collaborative is comprised of 91 organizations and 244 individuals, of which HistoriCorps is a part.
Last week, we came together to share our knowledge and ideas to advance this common goal, use common metrics to measure our effectiveness, and discuss strategies for addressing the barriers to accessing natural resources careers. Participants generated many excellent ideas, and we were happy to have been a part of it, promoting our mission and the advancement of careers in cultural resource management as part of natural resource management.