Applicants Needed for New Service Program in Virginia State Parks
Richmond, VA - Applications are being accepted for the inaugural season of the Virginia Service and Conservation Corps. Created by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, and inspired by the conservation ethic of President Franklin Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps, VSCC participants will help to preserve and protect public lands in Virginia.VSCC projects include trail construction and maintenance, invasive species control and prescribed burn projects that re-establish historic, fire-adapted ecosystems on parklands. Crewmembers may also have short-term deployments for disaster relief in affected communities.Crew members will complete 1,700 hours of service during a 10-month term from November 2014 through August 2015.Participants receive a taxable, monthly living allowance of $1,210, student loan forbearance and health care if needed. VSCC membership provides hands-on training and formal education opportunities, as well as eligibility for the Segal Education Award of $5,645 upon successful completion of the term of service. The education award may be used to pay educational costs at eligible post-secondary institutions, including many technical schools and GI-Bill approved educational programs, as well as to repay qualified student loans.Applicants must be US citizens and 17 or older, possess a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass a comprehensive background check. The deadline is Nov. 17, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. This is a non-residential program; housing is not provided. Members must be capable of reporting daily to their base park at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge or Hungry Mother State Park in Marion.Mandatory training for selected members will be held at Twin Lakes State Park Nov. 19-23, 2014.Based upon the award-winning success of Virginia State Parks' Youth Conservation Corps, which received the Department of Interior's "Take Pride In America" Best Youth Volunteer Program award in 2010, the VSCC will address veteran and young-adult unemployment rates, environmental decline, the public's growing disconnect with nature and the catastrophic effect of natural disasters in communities across Virginia.VSCC crews will develop leadership qualities while the VSCC will develop a new generation of skilled workers, educated citizens, and active stewards of America's natural and cultural resources.For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 804-625-3984.The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation manages Virginia State Parks, which offer dozens of festivals and concerts and thousands of educational programs across the state.For more information about state park activities and amenities, or to make reservations in one of the 25 parks with camping facilities or 18 parks with cabins or family lodges, call the Virginia State Parks Customer Care Center at 800-933-7275 or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.