Montpelier Youth Conservation Corps (MYCC)


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Program Description


The Montpelier Youth Conservation Corps (MYCC) program provides paid conservation opportunities for high school-aged youth during the summer. The program seeks to provide job training skills, exposure to a wide variety of conservation/recreation based tasks, and sense of community to local youth. 

MYCC is largely grant-funded. Funding the program every year takes immense work and passion. Donations to the Parks Department are welcome. 

Thank you to all our previous youth conservation corps members who have given so much heart to this community!

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Program Structure

MYCC summer sessions run from mid-June to early April. 

We run 3-week sessions, where members rotate through different work sites every week. 

Work sites vary year to year, but generally MYCC members will work: (1) in the city's trail system, (2) at the city-run farm, and (3) in the various city parks. During the summer of 2024, crews might also be out helping build a street tree inventory. 

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History

The Montpelier Youth Conservation Corps (MYCC) began in 2020 near the beginning of the pandemic, when being outside was the only way safe way spend time together. At first, it functioned as a school-year program in collaboration with Montpelier High School's Flexible Pathways program. Every week, for 2 hours, a group of 5-7 students came up to the park to do conservation-based work for class credit. 

Then, in the summer of 2021, we received a grant from the Vermont Afterschool: Expanding Access program and launched the first paid MYCC Summer session! We received the grant about 2 weeks before the start of the session - what a whirlwind! Nevertheless, the first summer was a wonderful time. We removed hundreds of pounds of invasive species from the bike path, cultivated hundreds of pounds of vegetables for food-insecure folks, installed benches, and built trails, among many other things. 

Since then, we've run the MYCC program every summer, and every summer is a new adventure. In the summer of 2023, MYCC members ended up unexpectedly helping coordinate the volunteer response to the historic flooding in Montpelier. 




 


Frequently Asked Questions


1. When do applications go live?
Sometime in April! Check back here in spring for updated information.

2. How many positions do you usually hire?
Usually, we hire 25-30 youth total. This year, many things are up in the air, while the City budget is in its approval process. 

3. How do you make application decisions?
It's hard! Most people who apply would be an awesome fit. We prioritize returners from previous summers. After that, we look at the applicant's interest, reasons for applying, and other opportunities they might have.  We are heartbroken we usually can't accept all applicants. We encourage you to write your applications with care and thought. 

4. What's the deal with poison ivy?
When we remove invasive species along the bike path, we have to work around a lot of poison ivy..... We take precautions by wearing full Tyvec suits and masks, and wash carefully. Additionally, most of the poison ivy-heavy work is done (thank you previous MYCCers!)

5. How much will I get paid?
We strive to pay as much as we can, and it's very grant fund dependent. Last year, MYCC members got paid $15/hr, returners got $16/hr, and assistant site leaders $18.50/hr. 

6. What's the deal with assistant site leaders?
Assistant site leaders are usually returning MYCC members who want to take on more responsibility and gain deeper knowledge of a particular work site. Assistant site leaders spend there whole summer at a site, and take on a large leadership role - helping direct their peers, and developing work plans. 

If you have any questions, suggestions, or dreams about the program, email Parks Supervisor Leila at lfaulstichhon@montpelier-vt.org


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