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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan,, 804-786-2292.

Date: March 19, 2003
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442,

Virginia State Parks seek Youth Conservation Corps volunteers

(RICHMOND) - The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is looking for a few good young women and men to serve the Commonwealth of Virginia.

DCR is accepting applications for three three-week sessions of the Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps (YCC), scheduled between July 5 and Aug. 23.

"The Youth Conservation Corps is an exciting and challenging opportunity for students 14-17 years of age to serve the Commonwealth," said DCR Director Joseph H. Maroon. "Service to others is an honorable, character-building pursuit, and the YCC fills needs in our state parks and in the lives of young people."

YCC participants assist with an assortment of projects in Virginia State Parks, including wildlife and fisheries habitat improvement, trail and campground construction and restoration, timber and shoreline improvement, and landscape beautification, to name a few, Maroon said.

The 2003 YCC sessions will be held at New River Trail State Park in Wythe, Grayson, Carroll and Pulaski counties; Staunton River Battlefield Historical State Park in Halifax County; Mason Neck State Park in Fairfax County and Leesylvania State Park in Prince William County; Westmoreland State Park in Westmoreland County and Caledon Natural Area in King George County; Hungry Mother State Park in Marion; and False Cape State Park in Virginia Beach.

"These young people make permanent and important contributions to our parks," said DCR State Parks Director Joe Elton. "At the same time, they learn valuable life lessons that raise their awareness of environmental stewardship, teach them job skills, discipline and the importance of teamwork, and improve their self-esteem and confidence."

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

"The three-week program is open to young men and women between 14 and 17," said YCC Coordinator Gaston Rouse Jr. "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 memories and experiences they take away will last forever."

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

"The supervisors serve as leaders and direct all activities of their crew," Rouse said. "It's a hard job that isn't for everyone, but the rewards are great. Supervisors have the opportunity to make a difference in our state parks and in the lives of the young corps members."

Supervisor applicants will undergo a criminal background check before being hired. Supervisors will receive a $1,500 stipend upon completion of the program.
The YCC application deadline for both students and supervisors is May 24. For more information or an application, contact Rouse at (703) 550-0960, e-mail

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