The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a program of the San Juan Islands Conservation District (SJICD) that provides work/study opportunities to young adults in the field of natural resource management, was honored to receive generous funding from the Orcas Island Community Foundation and private donors this month. The funding will allow the CCC program to expand its local reach and impact in a second year of operations. The CCC sprang to life in 2020 from a first round of OICF Covid Relief funding, with the promise of providing young adults with education and career opportunities that could also provide an environmental benefit to local public lands.
The new funding will increase the CCCs educational partnership with Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment and the Northwest Indian College to offer more college-level courses or certificate programs on subjects related to natural resource management. Classes will be designed to couple online learning with local fieldwork and internships, with the goal of being available to an expanding audience of San Juan County residents.
In partnership with Huxley College, the focus of coursework development will be in the field of restoration ecology, such as ecosystem management, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), biostatistical analysis, and more. The Northwest Indian College will receive funding to offer courses in social justice and indigenous land management and work in partnership with local tribal communities. The program seeks to foster cross-cultural dialogue through the intersection of western and indigenous sciences in the management of the islands’ land and seascape.
Since its inception in the summer of 2020, the CCC has grown into a year-round program for a crew of young adults improving critical ecosystems in our State Parks and other public lands. The CCC would not have succeeded thus far without the financial, housing, and general support of OICF and key partners including Washington State Parks, San Juan County Land Bank, San Juan Preservation Trust, and many more. Successes of the CCC establishing entirely new trails in Moran State Park, restoring native species and stream buffers in the Judd Cove and False Bay watersheds, and clearing unhealthy forest land to reduce the risk of wildfire.
For more information on opportunities to enroll in the CCC and upcoming course offerings, please contact Kai Hoffman-Krull at email@example.com, visit our website at www.sanjuanislandscd.org, or find us on Facebook.
San Juan Islands Conservation District