The Glacier Youth Corps Partnership, a new volunteer partnership program supported by the Glacier National Park Conservancy, Montana Conservation Corps, National Park Foundation, and Glacier National Park, provides diverse work and educational opportunities for youth ages 15-24 in Glacier National Park while supporting the completion of important park projects.
The program began this summer, exposing current Montana Conservation Corps crew members to a wide-range of career paths at Glacier National Park through immersive projects across several park divisions. Projects include trail maintenance, citizen science data collection, native plant restoration, historic structure maintenance, noxious weed control, and backcountry shelter repair. Youth involved with this program have the opportunity to learn new skills and work alongside staff from Glacier’s fire management office, maintenance crews, and the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center.
“This program is a shining example of the essential investment and value added partnership that the GNPC provides Glacier National Park that assures meaningful access and hands on conservation and leadership experience for the future stewards of Glacier and our National Parks system,” said Mark Preiss, CEO of the Glacier National Park Conservancy. “We are pleased to be a partner with the Montana Conservation Corp and the National Parks Foundation in providing this opportunity for students from across the country.”
Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said, “Glacier National Park depends on dedicated volunteers to help with projects that would not be completed without them. This program is a great example of partners pooling resources and working together to not only deliver tangible results for the park, but also provide educational opportunities to the next generation of park stewards.”
The Glacier Youth Corps Partnership is currently a 2-year pilot program. Due to the generosity of many donors, the Glacier National Park Conservancy was able to contribute $55,000 to fund the first year of the program. The National Park Foundation awarded the program a matching grant of $55,000 to fund the second year. Future funding availability and continued interest from involved partners will determine the program’s longevity after two years.
Future endeavors of the Glacier Youth Corps Partnership include incorporating a mentoring component in which Glacier Youth Corps Partnership members mentor visiting youth groups that come to Glacier National Park as part of Citizen Science High School and Discover Glacier Education programs.
For more information about the Glacier Youth Corps Partnership please contact Glacier National Park’s Volunteer Coordinator Jessica Kusky at 406-888-7851, or the Glacier National Park Conservancy at 406-892-3250. For more information about volunteering in Glacier National Park visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/supportyourpark/volunteer.htm.