Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Boots on the Ground: State Legislature Expands Puget SoundCorps

by Bridget Mason, Washington Conservation Corps

WCC members removing creosote-treated logs on Lopez Island.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Farrell, WCC Coordinator
The special session of the 2012 Washington State Legislature adjourned April 11 with excellent news for the WCC’s Puget SoundCorps. The Legislature dedicated $13 million to Puget SoundCorps projects, resulting in up to 20 new crews throughout the Puget Sound region.

These new crews will work on Puget SoundCorps projects, the bulk of which are located on lands managed by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR). A few projects will have boots on the ground by midsummer with a larger roll out slated for this October.

Specifically, these crews will work to clean up Puget Sound beaches, install native plant species in urban areas, reclaim land previously used for mining operations, restore in-stream habitat, and control noxious weeds.

Nick Mott, WCC Section Supervisor explains, “This new funding illustrates that our program is a cost effective force for creating jobs for young adults who have been disproportionately affected by the recession in Washington.”

The expansion of Puget SoundCorps projects will increase the WCC roster to 325 members—the largest the program has been in its 29-year history. With humble beginnings of just three crews in 1983, the WCC will now consist of nearly 60 crews and 25-30 Individual Placements for the 2012-2013 AmeriCorps service year.

The online application will open for recruitment on July 15, 2012. Interested applicants can learn more about the Puget Sound Corps program on Ecology's website. Recruitment for crew supervisor positions will be posted at Ecology's Job Opportunities page.

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