University of Wyoming **
Commission AmeriCorps State FY 2012
Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) exists to serve the students, citizens, and public lands of Wyoming through conservation based projects that span the entire state. From the mountain peaks of the Medicine Bow National Forest to the prairie dog colonies of the eastern plains, WCC creates opportunities for students to engage with public land managers while pursuing their own education through scholarship and service learning projects. This unique program is housed within the University of Wyoming and recruits individuals 18 and older to spend the summer field season reclaiming compromised habitats and reducing the human impact on Wyoming public lands. Our program creates 8-person crews from a nation-wide applicant pool. These crews spend the summer from May to August working on public land to provide a sustainable trail system, infrastructure, and habitat reclamation for the enjoyment of the American people. The end of each summer season yields improvements to our state's natural areas along with a more experienced set of individuals. With the help of AmeriCorps funding, we hope to increase our numbers to include an entirely new crew of 8 individuals. This increase would not only allow 8 additional students to gain experience with natural resource agencies but would dramatically increase the amount of service that WCC can provide to citizens of Wyoming by improving trails, historic infrastructure, natural habitat, and environmental education outreach. The WCC works in partnership with the University of Wyoming to provide students with advanced education, new skill sets, and AmeriCorps scholarship awards in return for their commitment to the conservation of public lands across Wyoming.
Our goal of 56 AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 334 volunteers to complete a diversity of natural resource based projects to include native seed collection, trail maintenance, habitat reclamation, and most importantly, extensive skill building for members in the fields of tool use, leadership, conflict management, and career counseling for natural resource related agencies and non-profit organizations in Wyoming. We will accomplish these goals through partnership with state and federal agencies along with non-profit agencies and community supporters. At the end of the 2012-2013 program year on August 30th, with the financial assistance of AmeriCorps, we anticipate completing 42 natural resource based projects; an increase from the current 36 projects. This program will focus on the CNCS focus area of Environmental Stewardship. The CNCS investment of $222,200.00 will be matched with $285,000.00.