DCNR decided to take on a new youth program so we created the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps. We started with six crews around Pennsylvania for the summer. At the end of that experience, we learned that number one, we got a lot of great work out of the youth and the corps and number two, they really understood public service. They understood that their work was making our parks and forests better for the citizens of Pennsylvania and the visitors to those parks. I just love the environment and wanted to
do anything to conserve it. I was inspired just to care for the environment. We got to do a lot of neat projects that kind of taught me how to build things how to learn different skill sets I can utilize later in life. This is the best job I've ever had. It's just so much fun, and it doesn't
feel like 8-hour work days. It feels like I'm going out and getting
paid to have fun. They'll become a conservationist. They'll have a lifelong learning. They'll remember this experience. And I'm sure they'll bring their kids
back to see the trees they planted, to see the buildings they built. This will be a life-changing experience for
them. I mainly just stay in the city because I'm
from Philadelphia, and there's usually a lot to do there. So these parks that are just half-an-hour
away, I didn't really go there — until now. It's really uplifting knowing that not only
it benefits you, but it benefits others. And you actually get the chance to do lots
of labor-intensive work, that when it's all said and done and you stand back to take a breath, you can actually be blown away at how much you accomplished. We're looking for ways to expand the program. We want to keep this as a permanent part of our DCNR mission. And we see this as a great way to train the conservationists of tomorrow that need to take care of our forests, take care of our
streams, take care of our parks and really carry on the conservation legacy that our men and women at DCNR are working on today. I haven't had too many opportunities in
my life. You took a chance and gave me one. And so I would just say to anybody who's
even remotely thinking about it if you enjoy the outdoors, even if you don't, just give it a try, because it can completely change how you think about your environment, how you think about conservation, how you think about everything. It's been one of the best experiences I've ever had. Thinking about coming back here in however many years and seeing a whole hillside filled with trees is just awesome to me, and I can't
wait to be able to see that.

Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps: Creating the Next Generation of Conservationists

One thought on “Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps: Creating the Next Generation of Conservationists

  • July 28, 2019 at 10:53 am
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    What a great program! Keep up all the hard work and thank you

    Reply

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