Garfield County hires youth workers for extensive trail maintenance work

August 4, 2011

Work is wrapping up soon for a summer of projects the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) hired young people to work on locally. The projects involved train maintenance, trail rehabilitation and controlling of invasive plant species in trail areas. The BOCC spent $45,000 to hire the group of young people through a program called the Western Colorado Conservation Corps (WCCC).

WCCC provides young men and women ages 14-25 with the opportunity to work and learn in an outside setting on local conservation projects. Employees of WCCC will be given the tools necessary for the successful completion of high school, have the opportunity to  earn their GED, learn about eco-conscious recreation and current conservation issues, and be given the option to earn an AmeriCorps Education Award for higher learning. WCCC is based out of Mesa County, and the WCCC is part of a rich history of conservation-minded employment. On March 21, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt started the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), as part of the New Deal to combat the growing unemployment rate of the Great Depression. The Western Colorado Conservation Corps was started under the non-profit group Partners of Mesa County, and runs under the umbrella of the Colorado Youth Conservation Corps (CYCA), which oversees a total of 11 youth corps groups working within the state of Colorado.

The young people hired to work on trails in Garfield County are residents of Garfield County, which was a stipulation made by the Garfield County Commissioners upon approval of funds for the project.

From left to right in rear row: Katie Peckler, Kevin Leidel, Cole Cleland, Chris Shea (crew leader), Michael Hardin, Nick Finley; front row left to right: Christina Long, Trudi Wiseman, Emily Van Matre
From left to right in rear row: Ben Musson, Da’Nivin Murphy, Josh Herrera, Ryan Hendershot (crew leader) — not pictured; Saul Rivas, Aaron Peck.