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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 21, 2007
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442, jim.meisner@dcr.virginia.gov

Virginia State Parks seek Youth Conservation Corps members

(RICHMOND) – The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreationis looking for a few good young women and men to serve the Commonwealth ofVirginia.

DCR is accepting applications for two three-week sessions of the VirginiaState Parks Youth Conservation Corps (YCC), scheduled June 24 to July 14and July 21 to Aug. 11.

“The Youth Conservation Corps is an exciting and challenging opportunityfor students 14-17 years of age to serve the Commonwealth,” said DCRDirector Joseph H. Maroon. “Service to others is an honorable, character-buildingpursuit, and the YCC fills needs in our state parks and in the lives of youngpeople.”

YCC participants assist with an assortment of projects in Virginia StateParks, including wildlife and fisheries habitat improvement, trail and campgroundconstruction and restoration, timber and shoreline improvement, and landscapebeautification, Maroon said.

The YCC is modeled after the federal service program AmeriCorps and thedepression-era Civilian Conservation Corps that built the original six VirginiaState Parks.

Teams of 10-12 participants will be chosen from current high school studentsaged 14-17 (participants must be 14 by June 1) who demonstrate an interestin protecting Virginia’s environment.

While no prior experience is necessary, participants will work outside,and the service is physically demanding. A positive attitude, an interestin learning, curiosity about interpreting nature, and the physical abilityand desire to work on outdoor projects are also important factors in theselection process.

The 2007 YCC sessions will be held at 18 state parks across the Commonwealth.YCC crew members are provided room, board, tee-shirts and work-related equipment,and receive a $500 stipend at the end of the three weeks.

“The work is outdoors and often physically demanding, but the memoriesand experiences they take away last forever,” said YCC CoordinatorGaston Rouse.

Adult supervisors at least 21 years old also are needed for the program.

“Supervisors lead and direct all activities of their crew,” Rousesaid. “They have the opportunity to make a difference in our stateparks and in the lives of the corps members.”

Supervisor applicants undergo a criminal background check before being hired.They receive a $1,500 work stipend and a $350 travel stipend upon completionof the program.

“YCC participants make permanent and important contributions to ourparks,” said DCR State Parks Director Joe Elton. “At the sametime, they learn valuable life lessons that raise their awareness of environmentalstewardship, teach them job skills, discipline and the importance of teamwork,and improve their self-esteem and confidence.”

The YCC application deadline for both students and supervisors is April13. For more information or an application, contact Rouse at (703) 583-5497,e-mail vspycc@dcr.virginia.gov or visit www.dcr.virginia.gov.

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