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Youth conservation corps program set : Pictured Rocks recruiting crews for summer

National Park Service staff and Youth Conservation Crew members build a plank trail at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The YCC program will take place again this summer. (Photo courtesy of the NPS)

MUNISING — A summer work opportunity is available for area young people through the Youth Conservation Corps program at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Youth between the ages of 15 and 18 may apply for the YCC program. There are no income restrictions for this employment program.

YCC, a nationwide program for young people, provides opportunities to contribute to the conservation of national parks, forests and wildlife refuges through a combined work and environmental education program.

“The Youth Conservation Corps crew will be working with park staff on various trail projects among the 100 miles of trails,” said Susan Reece

chief of interpretation at Pictured Rocks, in an email. “They will be installing planked walkways over wet areas of trails, installing trail bridges, rerouting trails to improve way-finding and leveling trail tread on the Munising ski trails to allow for better skiing conditions.”

There’s an intrinsic value as well for the participants.

The YCC crew will also learn about the Pictured Rocks and the National Park Service and its mission, opportunities and careers, Reece said.

The Pictured Rocks YCC program will run eight to 10 weeks beginning June 14. The youth work a 40-hour week and receive $9.65 per hour.

Applications must be received no later than April 19. They must be mailed to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, P.O. Box 40, Munising, MI 49862 or emailed to steve_howard@nps.gov.

Enrollees are selected from among all youth submitting applications to the Pictured Rocks headquarters office for four positions in the Munising district.

Selections of YCC enrollees are made by random drawing. The drawing and notification of selections will occur during the week of May 3.

Questions about the YCC work program may be directed to Pictured Rocks Facility Manager Steve Howard, who can be reached at 909-202-0799. Applications are available at Munising High School and Superior Central School or by emailing steve_howard@nps.gov.

Funding comes from the National Park Service recreation fee program, Reece said. Fees paid by visitors go back into parks to help with upkeep and making improvements to directly benefit future visitors.

Projects supported by this fund source assist the NPS in fulfilling its mission of preserving unimpaired “the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations,” she said.

Virtual program offered

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore’s education team has announced a virtual program for middle and high school students to learn about invasive species in the Great Lakes region.

The program will focus on the life and management of sea lamprey in the Great Lakes.

This program will be hosted by the NPS, and will include guests from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service based in Marquette.

Teachers and students are encouraged to sign up for the program that will be hosted on the Microsoft Teams platform, which is web based with no download needed.

The live program events will be hosted at 1 p.m. March 12 and at 10 a.m. March 18. The event will be recorded for teachers and students who are unable to attend on these dates.

The live event is expected to last about 45 minutes, with time for students to pose questions to rangers.

There is a limited amount of space for the live events, so teachers are encouraged to sign up using the following email or link: piro_education@nps.gov or www.facebook.com/PicturedRocksNL.

Participants are asked to register no later than March 10 for the live events.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net

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