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. The following story was provided by Arizona Conservation Corps, a 21CSC program operator.
In his orange hard hat and well-worn work pants, Shonto Greyeyes leads an AmeriCorps crew of six local teens in the Youth Conservation Corps in Prescott, AZ as part of Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC). Shonto is serving his second term as a YCC mentor as follow up to experiences on the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition crew with AZCC, a term of service with Montana Conservation Corps, and an individual placement internship with Coconino National Forest. Shonto sees his responsibility to give back to his community, and he aspires to lead an inter-tribal crew that serves Arizona’s ancestral lands and native communities.
Shonto recognizes the challenge of straddling two worlds: the traditional knowledge of his Diné culture and the opportunities of the 21st century. Shonto grew up in the border town of Flagstaff, AZ after his family made the decision to move off of the Navajo Reservation, the largest reservation in the U.S. which reaches into three states.
The California Conservation Corps enrolls veterans to assist with firefighting efforts as an official program of 21st Century Conservation Service Corps.
At a California Conservation Corps center in the Sierra foothills, 50 military veterans were put through their paces this week, mastering a 40-hour wildland fire training led by members of the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
After completing the course, the veterans became part of the nationwide Veterans Green Corps, that also includes veterans in the Student Conservation Association and the Southwest Conservation Corps. Many Corps programs have also developed Veterans Conservation Corps programs with other partners including Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (Colorado), Montana Conservation Corps, Maine Conservation Corps, Nevada Conservation Corps, Washington Conservation Corps, Utah Conservation Corps and Western Colorado Conservation Corps. These programs are all part of the new 21st Century Conservation Service Corps.