April 16, 2024
Annapolis, US 70 F

Chesapeake Bay Trust announces new Conservation Corps class

The Chesapeake Bay Trust, funded by the Maryland Chesapeake vehicle license plate among other sources, has introduced the newest class of its Chesapeake Conservation Corps members.  This program was created by the Maryland Legislature to invest in the state’s young people, provide valuable job skills training, and promote the green economy in Maryland. The program matches young people ages 18-25 with non-profit and government organizations for one-year stipend-supported terms of service, focused on improving local communities and protecting natural resources.

“The Chesapeake Conservation Corps helps instill critical leadership skills and inspire Maryland’s next generation of environmental stewards,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I salute this year’s inductees and look forward to seeing their tremendous work to protect the health of the Chesapeake Bay.”

Since the program began in 2010 with an inaugural class of 16 members, the Corps has nearly tripled in size due to its popularity among young people pursing environmental interests and the organizations that host Corps members each year. The Corps has become a premier launching pad for green careers and a reliable resource for environmentally focused organizations who are recruiting the next generation of environmental professionals.

“The Chesapeake Conservation Corps program continues to demonstrate the power of investing in hands-on job training programs,” said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., the initiator of this program back in 2010. “Today we celebrate the initiation of 37 young people about to embark on this career-building experience.  This program not only helps young people find jobs, but it helps our environment and our economy.”

Today, 37 Corps members met virtually their 35 host organizations to learn more about their job responsibilities for the upcoming year, which will be shaped this year by COVID as Corps members follow state and local guidance and their host site’s policies on remote work and social distancing.  During their year of service, Corps members will gain valuable on-the-job experience as they work to advance environmental conservation, K-12 education, energy efficiency programs, sustainable agriculture practices, and a host of other environmentally focused initiatives.

“In these tough times, more and more of us our realizing the importance of our natural resources as use of parks and other outdoor resources increases,” said Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio of Maryland Department of Natural Resources, one of the key funders of the program.  “We are proud to be a part of this program that can encourage responsible use and protection of our outdoor resources.”

Funds for the program are provided by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. National Park Service, and Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), among others.

“The National Park Service is proud to continue to support the Chesapeake Conservation Corps Program” said Wendy O’Sullivan, superintendent of the Chesapeake Bay Office of the National Park Service.  “We believe the Corps’ mission aligns directly with our mission to work with people and partners to conserve, steward, and promote Chesapeake’s special places important to communities, visitors and the nation, for this and future generations.”

During the year, Corps participants work directly with their host organizations while also receiving extensive job trainings hosted by the Trust as well as other service-learning opportunities including grant writing and project management.

Of the 37 selected participants, 11 will work in Anne Arundel County, 7 in Baltimore City, 4 in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, 3 Baltimore County, 2 in Calvert, Kent, and Worcester counties, 1 in Howard County, and 1 in Pennsylvania.

“BGE is proud to continue to partner with the Chesapeake Conservation Corps Program. These young people are getting hands-on exposure to a broad array of Bay restoration efforts and learning valuable job skills as they do. Moreover, their mentoring throughout the experience is focused on leadership development, preparing them for impactful future roles.” said John Quinn, Director of Energy Policy at BGE.

Read about the incoming class of 2021 and their placements here.

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