Kinder completes Conservation Corps service [UPDATED]Published 12:16pm Thursday, December 19, 2013 Updated 12:19pm Friday, December 20, 2013
For The Journal
Courtney Kinder of Fergus Falls, MN recently completed a ten-month service term with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa, a nonprofit that engages young people in hands-on service managing natural resources and responding to disasters. From February through December, 135 young adults worked outside in all seasons improving recreational trails, fighting wildfires, conducting prescribed burns, removing invasive species, planting trees and conducting other conservation projects to restore native habitat throughout the Midwest.
Kinder served as a Crew Leader on a crew with four other AmeriCorps members in Fergus Falls, MN. During the 2013 service term, AmeriCorps members conducted prescribed burns to restore 24,520 acres of prairie; planted 135,430 native trees and plants; suppressed 30,095 acres of wildfire; removed over 11,150 acres of invasive species and constructed or improved over 700 miles of trail. Habitat restoration projects are completed on public lands in partnership with city governments, county conservation boards, state and federal agencies and other nonprofit organizations.
The Corps is currently hiring for the 2014 program year. Conservation Corps crews of 5-6 members are based in 16 locations throughout Minnesota, completing projects on public lands throughout the state. Participants, ages 18-25, are enrolled in AmeriCorps and receive a living stipend and an education award for college or student loan expenses. Beside marketable job skills, corps members receive professional certifications in wildfire suppression, chainsaw operation and first aid.