This summer we plan to highlight several of the participants in the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. To view all Faces of the 21CSC stories, please click here.
Chris Wilson had a history of wanting to protect natural resources. He completed 1700 AmeriCorps hours for the Florida Conservation Corps where he surveyed and eradicated invasive species and also assessed and repaired trails in the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee.
Chris wanted some additional training, so he joined the Community Training Works/Young American Conservation Corps (CTW/YACC) in Melbourne Beach, Florida, a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps operator. He assessed and repaired bridges and boardwalks over streams & marshes and also assessed and repaired trails. During his seven month stint at CTW/YACC he took the Waders in the Water (WitW) aquatic restoration and green jobs training class offered by Trout Headwaters, Inc. in partnership with The Corps Network. He earned the certification and enjoyed the course as part of his Corps experience.
Since then Chris has been hired as a full-time Park Ranger at the Maclay Gardens State Park and said that his WitW training was among the positives he was able to highlight during the interview process. In the future he feels prepared to work on projects to address erosion should they be needed at the State Park or elsewhere. Chris says that after his introduction to “soft” biostabilization techniques of stream restoration in the WitW class he would be able to “use that knowledge now to replant vegetation on streambanks to make the erosion problems go away.”
Chris’ career goal is to be a Park Service Specialist for the Florida Park Service.