Appalachian Conservation Corps opens new program in Harrisonburg

The program focuses on giving conservation service opportunities to those who haven’t been given the opportunity to experience them before.
New conservation program is looking for youth to get involved.
Published: Apr. 25, 2021 at 8:00 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Appalachian Conservation Corps has a new summer program and is looking for youth in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County aged 16-18 to get involved.

The program is called the “Rockingham Outdoor Conservation Crew” or “ROC Crew” and will be based in Harrisonburg.

Crews will work on conservation projects in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

Corps Director Zach Foster said the program is a new model where crews will work on activities like trail construction and habitat improvement during the day and then return home every night.

He said they are hoping to get youth involved who haven’t had an experience like this before.

“This whole project is geared toward creating a really great welcoming experience for folks looking for careers in the outdoors or just looking for an opportunity to do service work,” Foster said.

Foster said the program will adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

He added that during the pandemic there has been an increase in outdoor recreation use and some people may be looking for something to do, and the program may be a solution to both.

“We’re able to help our land managers catch up with this big increase in need and we’re also creating a space where folks can have that sense of purpose, do something greater than themselves, and get out there and work with their friends,” Foster said.

Crew members will also receive a stipend.

The program starts in June.

For more information, you can visit the Appalachian Conservation Corps website.

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