The New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) Commission announced funding for 28 conservation and community projects in 2021.
The grants total $2.6 million and have been awarded to a variety of projects that will hire 422 New Mexican youths between the ages of 14 and 25.
Awards were made to two charter schools, one university, one tribe, two state agencies, 10 non-profit organizations, four municipalities and two counties.
Corps members will:
- Construct a new tent campground at Sugarite Canyon State Park;
- Design and build sculptures at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and Mesa Verde Park in Albuquerque;
- Restore riparian areas of the Jemez Mountains and Santa Clara tribal lands;
- Improve parks and trails in Deming, Gallup, Grants, Taos, Lincoln and Otero counties;
- Improve forest, rangelands and recreational areas in five national forests; and
- Monitor ecological indicators in a variety of habitats.
“YCC corps members accomplish a tremendous amount of innovative work each year they can be proud of their whole life,” said Youth Conservation Corps Executive Director Sarah Wood. “They also gain training not available in most entry-level jobs.”
Each awardee must provide a variety of training to youth, including job, career, and life skills, natural and cultural knowledge, and further educational opportunities. Corps members who return to a YCC project are eligible for a $1,500 further education voucher or $500 additional cash compensation.
The program is funded by government gross receipt taxes. The organizations that received grants are: Aldo Leopold Charter School (2 proposals), ALMA, City of Aztec (declined funding), City of Gallup, City of Grants, Deming Cesar Chavez Charter High School (2 proposals), East Rio Arriba Soil and Water Conservation District, Eco Servants Lincoln, Eco Servants Otero, Escuela del Sol Montessori Inc., Town of Estancia (declined funding), National Audubon Society, New Mexico State Parks Division, Rio Arriba County Precious Age, Rio Arriba County Stop Healing Memorial, Rio Grande Return, Santa Clara Pueblo, Santa Fe Children’s Museum Inc., Santa Fe County Fire Department, Talking Talons Youth Leadership, Taos Land Trust, The Forest Stewards Guild (2 proposals), Village of Columbus (2 proposals), Village of Santa Clara, Western New Mexico University and YouthWorks Inc.