Lopez Island Conservation Corps takes it outside

LICC crew enjoying a lunch with a view - Contributed photo
LICC crew enjoying a lunch with a view
— image credit: Contributed photo

Lopez Island Conservation Corps recently wrapped up its fifth annual summer youth program.  The crew spent nine weeks working hard, learning and having fun outdoors as they helped to maintain and improve public lands in the county.  This season LICC was contracted by Bureau of Land Management  with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to perform extensive trail building and maintenance.  With the guidance of crew leaders Amanda Wedow and Charlie Behnke the crew went above and beyond their call of duty, working six miles of trails on the south end of Lopez and Patos Island.

A workday with the LICC crew looks something like this: The group meets up and carpools to the job site. Van is loaded with necessary tools, equipment, and a well-prepared crew. They arrive at the site and have a check in circle.

“Where’s your head, where’s your heart?” the crew leader asks.

They wipe the last of the sleep from their eyes as backpacks are donned and tools divided.  Off they go, sometimes hiking miles to get to their work site, a perfect time for some environmental education. Once at the site, a base camp is established, tasks are delegated and the work gets done. The day flies by and it is time to pack up, hike out, and have a closing circle to talk or write about the day.

The LICC summer youth program aims to accomplish several objectives.

The physical work accomplished is important, needed, and well appreciated, however it is not the sole purpose for the organization.  Perhaps even more important is the opportunity to engage young people outside, to help them deepen their connection with place, and to foster environmental and community stewardship.

The program is also valuable for skill building and as a first time job opportunity, a fantastic addition to a resume or college application. For more information contact Program Leaders Amanda Wedow and Charlie Behnke at or 468-2951.

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