This is the third week the Mile High Youth Corps has been working here at Lathrop State Park. The Youth Corps hires young people, ages 18 to 24, to learn skills and perform public service. To learn more, click on the name of the organization above.
The corps has a contract with Colorado State Parks. Here at Lathrop this year, they have been clearing out dead cedar trees and removing non-native Russian Olive trees. One weekend, John helped haul out the cedar trees they had cut. Before they begin their work with chain saws, the crew stretches to prevent pulled muscles as they work.
Here you can see the pile of cut dead wood and the dump truck loaded with more wood.
As John dumps a load of wood, you can get an idea of how much they have cleaned out around the park. And this was just their first week here.
Both men and women are a part of Youth Corps. The crew at Lathrop had 10 young male members and a woman crew leader. Here Annie is helping load the dump truck.
In addition to working with chain saws, one day the crew members spent several hours pulling noxious weeds in one area of the park. Talk about back-breaking work!
The group works for 10 days at a time, then gets four days off. Most days they work all day, but there is an education component to the program, as well. So some days they work half day and attend classes the other half. They camp out in tents at the work site. They really appreciate being at Lathrop, where there are hot showers available every night. Sometimes they are in remote locations and don't get a shower for 10 days straight! We thought about the group last night, when it rained for hours. That makes it hard to cook outdoors and makes sleeping in a tent rather unpleasant.
The Youth Corps provides income for the participants and teaches them skills that will help them find another job when they complete there time. And the work they do benefits their community. Mile High Youth Corps is part of AmeriCorps, Click on the link to learn more about this national program for adults of all ages.