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High School Students Complete 2017 Youth Conservation Corps Program

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Seven high school students from Fentress, McCreary, and Scott County High Schools recently finished the summer working on a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) team at the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

Rehabilitating the Leatherwood Ford boardwalk and clearing trails throughout the park were the main focus of the 2017 program. The crew also participated in several learning experiences which included treatment of hemlock trees for suppression of the hemlock wooly adelgid, rock climbing at Obed Wild and Scenic River, a train ride to the Blue Heron mining community, and participating in various interpretive programs encompassing natural/cultural resources within the park. The 2017 YCC summer program concluded with the students presenting what they had learned to an audience of park staff, family, and friends.

“We are pleased to host the Youth Conservation Corps program at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area for the sixth consecutive year,” said Superintendent Niki S. Nicholas. “Participating in the YCC is a wonderful opportunity for youth to learn about and gain appreciation for our national parks while learning valuable skills. We are very proud of these students and wish them great success in the future.”

The Youth Conservation Corps is a summer employment program for young men and women, ages 15-18, to work on projects to protect public lands. The YCC program trains young people and provides outdoor work that is supervised by a trained crew leader. Participants gain valuable professional experience working on National Park Service lands, and get to learn how to use tools, safe work habits, teamwork, and how conservation projects benefit the environment and protect cultural and historical resources.

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