Washington Conservation Corps needs a few good men and women

August 25, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 25, 2010

The state Department of Ecology needs outdoors enthusiasts to help protect the environment and offer relief in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Backed by a $1.9 million federal grant, the agency plans to add 180 Washington Conservation Corps members statewide.

The agency needs people ages 18 and 25 years to fill the positions for the upcoming service year — Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2011. Apply for a position here.

Established in 1983 as a response to the sour economy, the program became affiliated with the federal AmeriCorps program in 1994 and then expanded.

During the last 16 years, Washington Conservation Corps crews planted more than 7 million native trees and shrubs across the Evergreen State, added 700 acres of fish and wildlife habitat, constructed or repaired almost 2,600 miles of trails and boardwalks — or enough to hike from Seattle to New York City — and provided 112,000 hours of emergency response.

Crews work at more than 35 locations across the state. Members receive $8.55 per hour and a $5,350 scholarship through AmeriCorps after completing the program.

Typical work includes building trails, planting trees and other habitat-related projects. Members also attend a series of paid trainings throughout the year in topics, such as advanced wilderness first aid, wild land firefighting and botany.

“We are very pleased that the WCC-AmeriCorps competed successfully for the federal grant this year,” Bill Basl, executive director for the Washington Commission for National and Community Service, said in a news release. “This funding will address priority resource conservation needs, serve in various emergency response situations in our state and throughout the country, and enable small nonprofit agencies to meet pressing environmental needs during a time of scare financial resources.”

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