Fish, forest, wildlife and teens benefit from the Youth Conservation Corps. The educational work program employs teens to work on conservation projects. YCC is modeled after the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps which employed young men to address the destruction and erosion of natural resources.
The Department of Conservation began YCC in southeast Missouri in 2000. Boys and girls ages 15 to 19 work on projects ranging from trail building and tree planting to assisting with fisheries research. In addition to improving our outdoor resources, YCC connects teens with nature.
YCC has expanded to Springfield and Sedalia, and plans are in the works to begin programs in St. Louis and St. Joseph. The program is funded by the Department of Conservation, a federal program and partners such as the Missouri Mentoring Partnership, East Missouri Action Agency and Lakes Country Rehabilitation Services.
Missouri bait dealers are at the forefront of efforts to protect state waters from exotic, invasive species. Most work to avoid introducing exotics by selling only native species for bait and educating the public about the damages caused by invasive species through the bait bucket sticker program. Many bait dealers attach blaze orange Don’t Dump Bait! stickers to every bait bucket sold to remind anglers that invasive species can ruin fishing opportunities by damaging native aquatic species and their habitat.
The learning experience at the Collaborative School in Webster Groves includes lessons on being good stewards of our natural resources. The school helps at-risk students improve their grades and find direction in life. A No MOre Trash! cleanup was among the community service activities teachers Kevin Tucker and Dan Davinroy recently conducted to enable students to help improve the environment. The students, teachers and school’s administrative and support staff removed 40 bags of trash from a quarter-mile stretch of Deer Creek in suburban St. Louis. In addition to teaching the students that teens can help protect the environment, the cleanup introduced many of the youngsters to wildlife that can be found near their homes. To learn more about the No MOre Trash! program, see the links listed below.
Editor in Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Staff Writer - Arleasha Mays
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Circulation - Laura Scheuler