The North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps (NCYCC) is a comprehensive youth development program that uses the natural world as a platform for teaching environmental stewardship, job and life skills, leadership, community service, and personal responsibility.
The NCYCC is a partnership between the Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC). NCYCC participants contribute hundreds of hours of hard work to improve and expand access to protected natural areas, so that more North Carolina families can connect with the outdoors. For many of them, it is a life transforming experience.
The NCYCC puts together “crews” of small groups of 8 to 10 young people who work under the close supervision of two highly trained adult leaders on high priority conservation projects. The crews work 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 4 to 7 weeks on local, state, federal, and land trust properties. An additional hour is budgeted each day for WoRD (Writing Reading and Discussion), an educational program focused on relevant conservation topics. Crews are either “roving,” in which crew members and leaders live together outdoors near the project site, or “community,” in which crew members and leaders live at home and report to their work site. Crew members earn minimum wage. Crew leaders earn slightly more.
The NCYCC establishes work projects with various partners across North Carolina. The work varies depending on the geographic location and goals of the sponsoring partner. Projects include trail construction and maintenance, habitat restoration, invasive species removal, building of campground facilities, planting trees, and community garden work.
- 16 to 24 years of age
- Permanent resident of the US residing in North Carolina
- Ability to work hard outdoors under challenging work conditions doing a variety of work
- Strong desire to make a difference
One roving crew built a 7-mile mountain bike trail for the U.S. Forest Service in the Croatan National Forest. A second roving crew completed a variety of projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; trail construction and maintenance for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail; and removal of invasive plants from the Eno River at Eno River State Park.
Two roving crews worked for North Carolina State Parks at Carolina Beach, Fort Fisher, Cliffs of the Neuse, Stone Mountain, Pilot Mountain, and Mount Jefferson State Parks building and maintaining trails, fencing, constructing tent pads, and making repairs to facilities. A third roving crew built a 1.5 mile trail for the LandTrust for Central North Carolina at Spencer Woods in the Town of Spencer and more than 2 miles of trail for the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy in Hickory Nut Gorge. A fourth Triangle based community crew built a new trail at Beaver Creek Nature Preserve in Durham for Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association; did a variety of projects that included trail construction and construction of a playscape at the Falls Lake Visitor Assistance Center and Jordan Lake for the Army Corps of Engineers, and worked for Wake County on invasive species removal, scientific studies, and construction of a playscape at Harris Lake County Park.
NCYCC in the News:
What Can You Do? Help Sponsor a Crew!
Your donation in support of the NCYCC will help young adults gain the following benefits: For a day, a week, even a month! (This covers all direct costs – crew members, crew leaders, transportation, supplies, food, management, and insurance.)
- One Crew Member for One Day = $160
- One Crew for One Day = $1,600
- One Crew for One Week = $11,000
- One Crew for One Month = $44,000
Your donation in support of the NCYCC will help young adults gain the following benefits:
- Summer jobs for resumes and internship credit
- Meaningful outdoor experiences
- Supervised work experience with diverse colleagues
- Natural resource education
- Career education
- Community service, hard but rewarding work
Woodson Family Foundation
Fred and Alice Stanback
North Carolina State Parks
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy
Kulynych Family Foundation
Little Acorn Fund
LandTrust for Central North Carolina
Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space
Pepsi Bottling Ventures
Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation
North Carolina Electric Membership Cooperatives
Great Outdoor Provision Company
Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Mt. Olive Pickle Company