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Contact: Lyn Carranza, 928-524-6228 x245
Petrified Forest, AZ–This past summer Petrified Forest National Park hired nine youth from areas near the park in a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program. “Students were recruited from local high schools to assist with a number of critical park projects,” said Superintendent Cliff Spencer.
Some of the projects completed with the assistance of this crew included landscaping around the Painted Desert Visitor Center, demolition of unstable walls, general clean-up in the Painted Desert Visitor Center area, weeding at pull-outs along the park road, work on the recycling program, weeding and clean up at the Holbrook Housing area, and general maintenance and custodial duties. In addition, many other small projects were completed that may not have otherwise been accomplished without the assistance of this crew.
As a part of this program, the students are provided educational opportunities during the time that they are employed. This summer, students took a hike into the Painted Desert Wilderness and learned about the park’s paleontology. They went to two other National Park Service sites, Walnut Canyon National Monument and Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site where they learned about how other parks are organized and how they operate. They were given special “behind the scenes” tours at each site. The group also learned about one of the National Park Service’s sister agencies, the U. S. Forest Service on a trip to Mt. Humphreys.
YCC is a summer employment program established by the Federal government to provide an opportunity for young men and women to work, earn, and learn together in projects in public land areas of the United States of America.
The three objectives of the YCC program are:
1) Accomplish needed conservation work on public lands;
2) Provide gainful employment for young people of all social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds; and
3) Develop in participating youth an understanding and appreciation of the nation’s natural environment and heritage.
Youth are provided an opportunity to increase self-esteem and learn self-discipline. They learn work ethics, relate with peers and supervisors, and build lasting cultural bridges.
Students hired for the 2009 YCC program included from left to right, front to back: Marie Jackson; Jason Burton; Jessica Downs; Aaron O’Dell; Lacy Wells; Loren Yazzie; Blake Ruffenach, work leader; Alexis Littlesinger; Devin Desson; Cassidy Buchanan-Gauthier, work leader; and Michael Teigh, Jr. Length of employment was 8 weeks beginning on June 8, 2009, and continuing through July 31, 2009.
Digital image is available upon request at the address or phone number below.
For more information call (928) 524-6228; or write to the Superintendent, Petrified Forest National Park, P.O. Box 2217, Petrified Forest, AZ 86028; or e-mail the park Superintendent.