Washington Conservation Corps seeks applicants

February 27, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 27, 2011

The state Department of Ecology is seeking 22 people between 18 and 25 to serve in Washington Conservation Corps positions in King County and elsewhere.

Members receive job training, help restore and protect the environment, offer environmental education and volunteer opportunities for thousands of residents of all ages, and provide assistance to citizens in the Evergreen State and across the nation during natural disasters.

Interested parties can complete the application at the Department of Ecology website.

Members selected for six-month stints earn state minimum wage and a $2,675 AmeriCorps Education Award for repaying student loans or for future tuition expenses.

Established in 1983 as a response to a sour economy, the program became a program under the AmeriCorps umbrella in 1994 and then expanded.

The corps includes 180 positions at more than 35 locations across the state.

In recent months, Washington Conservation Corps members assisted in trail restoration and habitat projects near Issaquah.

“We need to refill some vacancies, and local organizations have stepped forward to help fund and create several new crews,” Interim WCC Manager Nick Mott said. “It highlights the critical service that that our WCC crew members and AmeriCorps provide Washington residents — and our nation.”

The openings in King County include eight positions based in Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle.

Leaders at the Department of Ecology and local organizations created the positions through cost-share agreements.

The funding — plus a federal AmeriCorps grant — gives the corps flexibility to respond to local and national emergencies and to provide year-round environmental service.

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.

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