The Palmetto Conservation Corps is South Carolina’s only trail-based state AmeriCorps Program for young adults. The Corps completes service work on the Palmetto Trail, through public lands, in communities, and with various organizations throughout the state.
The vision of the Corps is to create sustainable communities while conserving South Carolina’s natural resources. The Corps develops the conservation leaders of tomorrow through service and education, strengthens partnerships that address environmental challenges, and cultivates civically-engaged citizens.
The Palmetto Conservation Corps is a natural addition to the work of Palmetto Conservation Foundation, whose mission is to conserve South Carolina’s natural and cultural resources, preserve historic landmarks, and promote active outdoor recreation on the Palmetto Trail and other greenways. In 2016, the Corps began as Palmetto Conservation Foundation’s key Trail maintenance tool, but Trail maintenance is not the only benefit of Corps work. The Corps exists to…
- conserve natural resources and wildlife habitats across South Carolina through Trail building and maintenance;
- prepare a crew of young adults with training in disaster preparedness and provide relief in the event of a statewide disaster; and
- train the environmental leaders of tomorrow in natural resource management, environmental best practices, and disaster mitigation.
The Corps is trained in trail construction, maintenance, and reconstruction, and this forms a large percentage of the projects conducted across South Carolina. The Palmetto Trail remains one of the Corps’ premiere projects in trail construction and maintenance, but work with Trail partners in state and national parks and forests remains a priority, as do partnerships with private sponsors.
Thanks to a partnership with Manchester State Forest, Palmetto Conservation Foundation will be providing housing for Corps members in Sumter County, SC. Corps members will use this 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath house as their “home base” during their service term. The house includes a dining room, a great room, a kitchen, and a living room, as well as appliances for laundry and cooking. Each member will be provided their own cot and storage space and will have 2-3 roommates. During service, some projects in other parts of the state will require the crew members to go “on hitch,” meaning overnight trips. These trips can last multiple weeks at a time. Palmetto Conservation Foundation makes alternate living arrangements for members while the Corps is on hitch. In some cases, backpacking and camping for back country projects will be expected for up to 10 days at a time. Necessary camping materials will be provided.
Transportation to and from all Corps projects will be provided by Palmetto Conservation Foundation. During time off, Corps members will be responsible for their own travel to and from leisure activities.
The Corps is for young adults, ages 18-25, who are considering land management as a potential career or course of study. Corps members serve as part of a 10 person team (8 crew members and 2 crew leaders) as they explore future outdoor careers, learn practical field skills, and develop confidence as emerging leaders in the field of conservation. Corps members receive living stipends, necessary tools and materials, supervision, and housing during their terms of service. Crews are trained to use a variety of hand tools to complete projects, which may include trail building, trail repair, invasive species removal, re-vegetation, riparian zone restoration, and more.
Most importantly, members are able to expand their professional network while gaining invaluable advice and insight working alongside the National Park Service, US Forest Service, South Carolina State Park Service, Palmetto Conservation Foundation’s corporate partners, and volunteers.
Crew leaders will need to have had some exposure to similar conservation projects in the past. Crew Leaders must be willing to motivate and lead crew members, work hard, maintain positive attitudes with atypical service days, and work well as part of a team. Crew leaders will complete 1700+ hours of service during their 11 month term (starting at the end of August), will receive a living allowance, and will be eligible for an education award at the completion of their service.
No conservation experience is needed but a love of the outdoors will be necessary. Crew members must be willing to work hard, maintain positive attitudes with atypical work days and work well as part of a team. Crew members will complete 900+ hours of service during their 5.5 month term (September through February or February through July), will receive a living allowance, and will be eligible for an education award at the completion of their service.
Email the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Cover letter explaining your interest, desired position, and why you are a good candidate
- Two professional references and one personal reference
Please contact Rachel Price, AmeriCorps Program Director, by phone or email at (803)771-0870 or email@example.com.
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