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The Partnership for the 21CSC Announces 2020 Winners of 21CSC National Distinction and Champion of the Year Awards

Annual award recognizes resource management professionals for their efforts to help develop the next generation of resource professionals, outdoor enthusiasts, and community leaders


Hannah Traverse
The Corps Network
1275 K St NW – Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20005


December 19, 2020 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) today announced the 2020 recipients of the 21CSC National Distinction Award and Champion of the Year Award. Honorees will be recognized during the annual Partnership for the 21CSC meeting, taking place February 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. This meeting is part of The Corps Network’s 35th annual National Conference.

The 2020 National Distinction Awardee is Patrick Schulze, Grants Management Specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The 2020 Champions of the Year are Garry Cantley, Archaeologist, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Western Region; Kathy Mick, Regional Program Manager for Volunteers, Service, Conservation Education and Interpretative Services, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region; Kim Wren, Assistant Manager/Environmental Manager, Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, Florida Department of Environmental Protection; and Jim Ziolkowski, Roads and Trails Foreman, Mount Rainier National Park, National Park Service.

The 21CSC is a national effort to put thousands of America’s young adults and veterans to work protecting, restoring and enhancing our communities and natural spaces. At the heart of the 21CSC are over 240 nonprofit and government-operated “Corps.” Corps are organizations that partner with resource management agencies, conservation organizations, and the Corporation for National and Community Service to annually engage roughly 25,000 young people and veterans in maintenance and  improvement projects on public lands and waters.

The existence of the 21CSC depends on partnerships between Corps and project partners that are committed to engaging young adults in the preservation of America’s natural and cultural resources. The 21CSC Champion of the Year Award recognizes individuals from partner organizations – including nonprofits and government agencies – who have gone above and beyond to engage Corps and support the development of the next generation of resource management professionals, community leaders, and outdoor recreationists. Champions are selected through a nomination process.

This is the sixth year the Partnership for the 21CSC will present the 21CSC Champion of the Year Award and the fifth year for the National Distinction Award. The Champion of the Year Award recognizes regional leaders; the National Distinction Award recognizes leaders whose work has touched 21CSC organizations across the country.

Led by The Corps Network and Conservation Legacy, the Partnership for the 21CSC is an advisory group of federal agency representatives and nonprofit leaders that support the development and implementation of the 21CSC to reach its goal of being a preeminent strategy for addressing America’s most pressing conservation needs.

“Our country is fortunate to have a diverse array of lands and waters where we can recreate, learn, and connect with nature. We are also fortunate to have outstanding stewards of these resources,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network and Co-Chair of the Partnership for the 21CSC. “On behalf of the Corps community, I extend gratitude to Patrick, Garry, Kathy, Kim and Jim for not only helping maintain our natural and cultural resources, but for inspiring our young people and veterans to one day be caretakers of these assets. Your support of today’s Service and Conservation Corps is an investment in the future of America’s parks, forests, waters, and tribal lands.”


About the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC)
The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) is a bold national effort to put thousands of young people and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors. 

The 21CSC is based on public-private partnerships between federal resource management agencies and the private sector. The goal of these partnerships is to increase civilian national service positions on public lands and encourage the use of Corps to meet the maintenance needs of land and water management agencies at no additional cost to taxpayers. Learn more at


About Conservation Legacy
Conservation Legacy is a national organization dedicated to supporting locally based conservation service programs. We operate and support programs that provide service and work opportunities for a diverse group of individuals to complete important conservation and community projects for the public benefit. Founded in 1998 to continue the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, Conservation Legacy programs include: Southwest Conservation CorpsAppalachian Conservation CorpsSoutheast Conservation CorpsArizona Conservation CorpsPreserve America Youth Summit and Stewards.


About The Corps Network
The Corps Network, the national association of Service and Conservation Corps, provides leadership and support to over 130 Corps across the United States. Through advocacy, and providing Corps access to funding opportunities and expert guidance, The Corps Network annually enables more than 25,000 Corpsmembers to strengthen communities, improve the environment and transform their lives through service. To learn more about The Corps Network, please visit