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Contact: George E. Price, Jr., Superintendent, 508-957-0701
Superintendent George Price announces that Cape Cod National Seashore will host a trail crew of eight high school students and two leaders through the Student Conservation Association (SCA) for three weeks in July 2015. The funding for this trail crew is provided by the NPS Centennial Challenge, with matching funds from donations received at the national seashore.
“We’re pleased to have received these funds to accomplish needed trail work, and to engage young people who will play a pivotal role in supporting national parks in the future,” said Superintendent Price. “The SCA has a long history of providing college interns and high school work crews to help parks accomplish the mission of protecting resources and serving visitors. Each year we place up to a dozen 12-week interns at the national seashore, but this is the first time we have hosted a high school crew.”
The crew members, who are recruited nationally, will focus on improving trail conditions at Bearberry Hill in Truro. They will repair water bars, replace the gravel surface, trim vegetation, and close off unofficial trails that cross through sensitive and globally rare heathland habitat. They may also assist with repairing fences and mobilizing supplies for other trail projects at the national seashore. They will learn trail maintenance methods and tool use, and will develop teamwork skills. In addition, they will participate in career and resource awareness sessions to help them understand the mission and goals of the National Park Service and the nature, history, and recreational opportunities of the national seashore.
The SCA places many such crews in parks and other federal lands across the US every summer. For many young people, this summer work experience is pivotal to career decisions, with many of them eventually landing paid seasonal positions. Crew members are not paid, but the costs for their travel, meals, supplies, and supervision are covered.
Price concluded, “These young people will not be paid in dollars, but they’ll have a summer they’ll never forget, with sunsets over the bay, a swim in the Atlantic, some sore muscles, for sure, and the great feeling that comes from helping to protect a special place like the national seashore.”
The year 2016 marks the Centennial of the establishment of the National Park Service. During this time of celebrations there are many initiatives, including the NPS Centennial Challenge for projects and programs at national parks. The Centennial Challenge awarded funding to more than 100 projects across the National Park Service to leverage a $10 million congressional appropriation with $15.9 million matching funds from more than 90 partner organizations.