COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- As part of the Department of the Interior’s youth initiative to inspire millions of young adults and veterans to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced $6.7 million in grants to support conservation employment and mentoring opportunities at 43 projects on public lands across the country. This is a 60-percent increase over last year’s funding.
The grants will provide jobs resulting in paid conservation work experiences for more than 620 youth on public lands, as well as fund materials, transportation and other related supplies. These projects will also support approximately 1,550 volunteers working on public lands.
Jewell made the announcement on Thursday at an event at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside Denver. "We have a shared responsibility to protect and promote public lands that belong to all Americans so our children and their children can enjoy them for generations to come," said Jewell. "Through our partnership with Groundwork Denver and other organizations in communities across the country, we can leverage our federal investments with private support to help young adults learn new skills and gain great job experience while giving back to the community."
The land management agencies participating in the program include Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The National Park Service and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) also are partners in some projects.
The 43 projects are diverse in work experiences and in locations. The conservation work provides training while helping resources ranging from a wildlife refuge in Hawaii, to a national forest in Alaska, to New York City beaches damaged by Hurricane Sandy, to a California national park where youth help with recovery of the condor. Urban projects include conservation career training in city parks, such as those that are part of the "Greening of Detroit." In Nevada, projects include work on an historic trail near Hoover Dam, an American Indian reservation and abandoned farmlands.
A list of the 43 projects can be found here