LAYC’s two Conservation Corps programs (the three-year old Montgomery County Conservation Corps and the new DC-based River Corps) were even busier than usual during “Earth Month 2017.” The kick-off event was a massive workday in DC’s Rock Creek Park, with over 60 volunteers and 30 LAYC youth. Representatives of The Corps Network and The Gates Foundation, congressional staff, college students, and LAYC program participants removed invasive species and picked up litter from the park and creek. Year-round, these two programs provide about 50 Corps participants a year with the opportunity to develop highly marketable “green jobs” skills while also gaining life skills and preparing for the GED. Below is The Corps Network’s video of the event.
Later in the month, Corps members visited UDC’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (“CAUSES”), checking out the Green Roof (the largest food-bearing roof in DC), Aquaponics Facility, and Demonstration Kitchen, and participating in the school’s Annual Food Justice Youth Summit. To cap things off, Corps members planted trees in Southeast DC and then joined over 200,000 people in the “People’s Climate March.” In its third year, the march focuses on both climate change and climate justice for those most impacted by the effects of climate change, i.e., low-income youth and families living in communities with more pollution and fewer economic opportunities like the ones served by LAYC.