Officials Salute PA Outdoor Corps Accomplishments At Pinchot State Forest
DCNR Bureau of Forestry Director Dan Devlin and state officials Thursday gathered at a state forest tract outside Wilkes-Barre to salute the contributions and successes of the PA Outdoor Corps at the Seven Tubs Recreation Area in Pinchot State Forest, Luzerne County.
“Closing out its second year of operation, the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps certainly is emerging as a ‘win-win’ effort for all involved,” Devlin told the gathering of young workers. “Pinchot State Forest has profited greatly from the young workers’ spirit and commitment demonstrated here at Seven Tubs, and at other state forests and state parks across the state. Corps crews have helped DCNR chip away at a backlog of much-needed work, while gaining invaluable career direction and exposure to the outdoors.”
Transferred from Luzerne County to bureau ownership two years ago, Seven Tubs Recreation Area was designated for recent deployment of the young workers, who tackled heavy-duty trail restoration, picnic table assembly and other assignments.
The PA Outdoor Corps is an initiative offered through DCNR that offers paid work experience, job training, and educational opportunities to young people who complete recreation and conservation projects on Pennsylvania’s public lands.
The program is designed to protect and restore public lands, while providing young people with the knowledge to be good stewards of the state’s natural resources.
[Note: The PA Outdoor Corps is now accepting applications for its 10-month program for young adults ages 18 to 25.]
Devlin, who also serves as State Forester, joined Pinchot District Forester Nick Lylo and other participants in meeting members of the Wilkes-Barre-based PA Outdoor Corps and visiting their project sites on the state forest tract.
PA Outdoor Corps Accomplishments
“Your work here accents an incredible success story that I and other DCNR people are seeing across the state,” Devlin said. “Corps members dedicated more than 84,000 hours to improve state parks and forests, resulting in improvement to 68 acres of green spaces; 13,000 feet of shoreline; 142 miles of nature trails; and 1,251 park and forest structures; and the planting of 567 trees.
“This program is connecting youth and young adults with job opportunities relating to the outdoors and the environment, and providing training in work skills necessary for future successful employment.”
Specifically, the work crew repaired more than 500 feet of eroded trail, using about 55 pallets of stone for steps; placing 20 tons of gravel to set the steps; moving approximately 10 tons of topsoil to stabilize eroded areas; and placing 300 feet of silt sock to protect stabilized area. They also assembled 20 picnic tables.
“What you did here this past summer and fall was not easy work, and I salute your commitment and accomplishments,” Lylo told the group. “I encourage residents of Luzerne County and beyond to take advantage of the autumn weather; come out and see your work; and hike and explore this new and diverse forestland.”
Part of Pinchot’s Deep Hollow Tract, Seven Tubs Recreation Area is closed to camping, fuel wood permits and hunting. All other activities common to state forests are permitted in the area, so named for a series of large potholes carved into bedrock by Wheelbarrow Run flowing through a ravine.
In 2017, the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corp employed 200 young people in 15 locations. Established in 2016, the program is financed through the Department of Labor and Industry’s Reemployment Fund.
Managed by DCNR and the Student Conservation Association, the program consists of two components: a six-week, summer program for youth between the ages of 15-18; and a 10-month program for young adults ages 18-25.
Locations were set up across the state to help facilitate participation by youth and young adults in disadvantaged communities.
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is America’s oldest and largest youth conservation organization. Founded in 1957, its mission is to build future conservation leaders, and seven in 10 of SCA’s 80,000 alumni worldwide are employed or studying in conservation-related fields.
Totaling more than 46,000 acres in an area marked by the confluence of the Susquehanna and Lackawanna rivers, Pinchot State Forest District includes Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming, Susquehanna and Wayne counties.
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[Posted: Nov. 2, 2017]
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