1. Population served. Program primarily serves young people ages 15-25 and/or military veterans up to age 35. Program may serve young people up to age 30 in an advanced capacity.
2. Participant Eligibility. Participants must be a U.S. citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States, meeting the same citizenship requirements as those for serving in AmeriCorps and Public Lands Corps.
3. Emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion. Participant recruitment should make deliberate outreach efforts to traditionally underserved communities, including low-income and disadvantaged populations.
4. Term of Service. Program minimum term of service of: 140 hours of on-the-ground, hands-on direct service for full time students and summer only participants; or, 300 hours of on-the-ground, hands-on direct service for non-full time student participants. Program maximum term of service of 3,500 hours of on-the-ground, hands-on direct service, with a limited exception for program elements that require more than 3,500 hours to achieve highly advanced outcomes. Service is compensated (not volunteer). Compensation can be in the form of wages, stipend, educational credit, or other appropriate form.
5. Organization of Work. Program organizes its participants as either: a) crew-based where participants work collectively and intensely together directly supervised by trained and experienced crew leaders or conservation professionals; or b) individual or small team-based where participants work individually or in coordinated teams under the direction of conservation professionals on initiatives that require specific skills and dedicated attention.
6. Types of Work. Projects include significant outdoor activity and/or include “hands-on” direct impact and/or helps young people connect with America’s Great Outdoors. Some programs may include work that is primarily indoors—for example, science, policy or program internships—that have a clear benefit to natural, cultural or historic resources.
7. Participant Outcomes. Program provides: a) job skill development to prepare participants to be successful in the 21st century workforce; b) community skill development to help participants acquire an ethic of service to others and learn to become better resource and community stewards; and c) a connection, improvement or restoration of the natural or cultural/urban environment or a greater understanding of our natural, cultural or historic resources.
8. Leveraged Investment. Program leverages public investment through either financial or in-kind support, to the extent possible. Exceptions may be made to support new, smaller, or federal programs that increase diversity and inclusion.