A Note of Gratitude

October 15, 2018
Geoff Hamilton
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

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A Note of Gratitude
2018 Trail Conference Conservation Corps End of Season Portrait. Photo by Heather Darley.

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This is the next generation of environmental stewards.

When one mentions service to our nation and our communities, it is easy to immediately call to mind our military and first responders—as well it should. However, there are people whose service goes unnoticed. AmeriCorps members around this country are serving, and this service, while different, is no less important or admirable than those mentioned above.

In their diversity and dedication, your Trail Conference Conservation Corps (TCCC) members are a true representation of all that is beautiful about our nation and our region. They come from different places, are of different ages, genders, and ethnicities, and yet they serve a common cause to enrich the experience of our parks and open spaces through service in AmeriCorps and the TCCC.

This year, we have hosted 18 trail builders, four Terrestrial Invasive Strike Force members, one Mile-a-Minute Biocontrol project member, and one Aquatic Invasive Strike Force member. They are out there five days a week, in the heat and in the rain, providing a real service to our communities by ensuring there are safe, sustainable trails and thriving native ecosystems. Their passion shines brightly in all they do. With resolute spirit they commit to their projects and overcome tremendous adversity from weather, terrain, and the sheer scope of their work—yet they keep pushing through to achieve remarkable results.

At the end of their season, the TCCC served 20,000 hours and engaged over 1,000 community volunteers. The trail crews built and repaired 8,000 feet of trail, set 591 stone steps and 32 stepping stones, and built 28 drainage structures and 240 square feet of cribwall. The terrestrial invasive plant crew removed 1.5 million invasive plants of 37 different species, treated 53 acres of invasive plants, submitted 71 observations, planted 200 native plants, released 4,000 biocontrol weevils released at four sites, monitored 20 previous release sites, and removed 16 acres of mile-a-minute. The aquatic invasive plant crew submitted 108 species observations, surveyed 323 acres of waterbodies, removed 1,700 plants, and inspected 600 boats.

Thank you for your passion and dedication in preserving the integrity of the trails and natural areas we share. Thank you for engaging volunteers and inspiring a deeper appreciation for the care that open space requires. We’re so proud to have you all in our Trail Family. Wishing you the best of luck on your next adventures!

Interested in becoming a Conservation Corps member for our 2019 season? Explore more details here.

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