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Young Corps Members Work to Preserve Bay

Young volunteers are selected to work with nonprofits around Maryland for a year. (
Young volunteers are selected to work with nonprofits around Maryland for a year. (
September 5, 2017

BALTIMORE -- The latest class of the Chesapeake Conservation Corps is ready to go to work cleaning up and preserving Maryland's natural treasures.

The Corps is a program created several years ago by the Maryland Legislature to provide job training for young people and promote the green economy at the same time.

Zach Garmoe, a member of this year’s newly selected core, is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland. He said he's thrilled to get hands-on, practical, on-the-ground experience as part of the 42-member team that will work in different locations around the state. His assignment is with the Maryland Coastal Bay program.

"The knowledge and friendship of a number of young professionals who will be able to help problem solve current and future environmental problems - you are working with this group to develop a network that's just going to strengthen in size and knowledge as the years go by," Garmoe said.

The new Corps members will work in eleven of Maryland's counties plus the city of Baltimore. One will work with the National Park Service in Pennsylvania.

Garmoe said Corps members are all between 18 and 25 years old, and work with nonprofit and government organizations in one-year, stipend-supported jobs, focused on improving local communities and protecting natural resources.

"Some of us are doing research with our host organizations. Some of us are doing active restorative, education work,” he said. "There's just a wide variety of projects that each of us has been assigned to. "

The National Park Service says the young people who are selected for the Chesapeake Conservation Corps learn and teach others the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation, and take those lessons with them throughout their careers and lives.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MD