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Maryland Conservation Corps Honors 32 Graduates

Award-Winning Program Enhances Maryland Public Lands

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources honored 32 members of the 2017-2018 Maryland Conservation Corps during their graduation program July 31. The ceremony commemorated the students’ completion of 10 months of job training, conservation work and stewardship with the Maryland Park Service.

Members from across the country, all between the ages of 17 and 25, completed 1,700 hours of service. This year’s crews planted thousands of trees, bay grasses and native plants; treated trees against harmful insects and diseases; and taught environmental education programs to more than 34,000 people.

The corps worked to improve more than 2,000 acres of park and public land around the state and enhanced miles of shoreline to mitigate the effects of erosion and storm damage. Members also received training in emergency medical response, wildland firefighting, basic water rescue and environmental education and interpretation.

Photo of Maryland Conservation Corps members.

The graduation ceremony held at Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area in Queen Anne’s County emphasized the participants’ achievements and the values imparted by their work, including leadership, responsibility, and effective teamwork.

“A devotion to public service, a passion for environmental stewardship, a commitment to one’s work and one’s team and a drive to see a project through from beginning to end are all traits that will follow these graduates for the rest of their lives,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Belton said.

The Maryland Conservation Corps, an award-winning AmeriCorps program, has been managed by the Maryland Park Service since 1984.