Washington, DC (PRWEB) February 09, 2012
Young people who participate in Conservation Corps exhibit improved leadership skills, community engagement and environmental stewardship according to a recent nationwide evaluation.
The study, conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University, assessed participants from 10 member Corps of the Public Lands Service Coalition against a random comparison group.
Using data collected during the 2011 program season, researchers found that after a season of service, Corps members displayed numerous developmental advantages. These include enhanced leadership and teamwork skills as well as a greater willingness to accept responsibility for personal actions.
Intensified engagement with the land was evinced by stronger interest in outdoor recreation. Ninety-five percent of Corps alumni indicate they plan to go backpacking within the next year, versus just 23% of the comparison group. Another 91% of Corps participants plan to purchase outdoor recreation gear within the next year, and to spend substantially more than their nonparticipant peers.
In addition, Corps participants’ interest in natural resource management careers increased during their service, while non-participants’ interest in such jobs actually declined during the same time period.
“This evaluation offers further proof that Conservation Corps provide important benefits to public lands and the public good, and we encourage our land management agencies to increase service opportunities for America’s Conservation Corps members,” says Public Lands Service Coalition spokesman Destry Jarvis.
The Public Lands Service Coalition represents 36 Conservation Corps whose 17,000 members complete crucial maintenance on America's public/tribal lands and waters.
American YouthWorks • Backcountry Horsemen of America • Calif. Assn of Local Conservation Corps • California Conservation Corps • Campfire USA • Canyon Country Youth Corps • Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia • Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy, Inc • Coconino Rural Environment Corps • Colorado Youth Corps Association • Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa • EarthCorps • Greater Miami Service Corps • Groundwork USA • Los Angeles Conservation Corps • Montana Conservation Corps • National Congress of American Indians • National Parks Conservation Association • National Wildlife Federation • Nevada Conservation Corps • Northwest Youth Corps • Operation Fresh Start • Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (CO) • Sequoia Community Corps • Sierra Club • Southeast Alaska Guidance Association • Southwest Conservation Corps • Student Conservation Association • The Corps Network • The Wellness Coalition • The Wilderness Society • The Y • Utah Conservation Corps • Vermont Youth Conservation Corps • Veterans Green Jobs • Washington Conservation Corps