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). CTNC hires young adults 16-24 years-old to work in our state’s parks and natural areas throughout the summer. These crews assist local land trusts and government agency partners with trail building and maintenance projects, invasive species removal, and other hands-on work to improve access to and health of North Carolina’s protected lands. 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 participants, this is a life-transforming experience.
This summer, CTNC has hired four crews to work with national, state, and local partners including the U.S. Forest Service, NC State Parks, Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation, and local land trusts NC Coastal Land Trust and Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. These crews will give North Carolina’s youth a unique outdoor experience and an opportunity to contribute to much needed trail maintenance and restoration projects at our most visited natural places from the mountains to the coast.
ABOUT THE NORTH CAROLINA YOUTH CONSERVATION CORPS
The Program: The NCYCC puts together crews 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 3 to 7 weeks on local, state, federal, or land trust properties. An additional hour is budgeted each day for WoRD, an educational program focused on relevant current topics. Crews are either “camping,” in which crew members and leaders live together outdoors near the project site, or “commuter,” in which crew members and leaders live at home and report to their work site each workday. Crew members earn minimum wage, and crew leaders earn slightly more.
Work Projects: 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.
WoRD – Writing, Reading, and Discussion: The WoRD program is a fundamental component of all NCYCC crews. WoRD encourages crew members and leaders to engage in thoughtful discussions about meaningful, relevant topics throughout the work week. Using a compilation of current articles and essays, all crews read aloud about important environmental and social issues. The crews discuss what they have read and write in their journals about the topic.
Safety: Crew leaders are trained on the work they will teach crew members, including potential hazards and ways to avoid or reduce them. Emergency plans are created for work and camp sites. Crew members receive instructions on the safe way to handle tools.
If you’re interested in learning more about the NCYCC recruitment process, join our interest list by clicking the button below. We’ll notify you about available positions each season.
Find the NC Youth Conservation Corps opportunity that is right for you!
All NCYCC positions are located in North Carolina and members will be camping in tents for the duration of their term. We’ll open hiring for Fall 2018 later this year.
NCYCC Crew Leader
NCYCC Crew Leaders serve as teachers, work supervisors, and role models for groups of youth (ages 16 to 18) and young adults (ages 18 to 24). Each crew has two crew leaders. Together, the crew leaders oversee the health and safety of the crew, build community, professionally manage work projects, teach life and job skills, ensure high standards are met, facilitate crew education, and uphold the NCYCC mission.
NCYCC Crew Member
Spike Crew members live in tents in a camp setting and work on high-priority conservation projects to make a lasting contribution to North Carolina communities and landscapes. This is a traditional crew design, modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The NCYCC State Parks Saw Crew will work directly with NC State Parks personnel to remove trees and debris off state park trails with chainsaws. Project work will be in two or more North Carolina state parks. The crew will consist of two leaders and six corps members. The crew will live together in tents or cabins the entire season in state park areas close to the project work. The crew will work approximately 40 hours a week with a typical week consisting of eight hours a day Monday through Friday, with one hour of the day reserved for focused education. The crew will continue to live together during the weekends and for the entire duration of the program service term. This crew will provide training and on-the-job experience to anyone interested in working for a state park and/or gaining experience for a natural resource career. The crew will understand the value of hard work, the contributions their work will make to North Carolina State Parks, and the need to focus on safety and excellence in all aspects of the project. Chain saws and all other tools and equipment will be provided.
This will be a CTNC AmeriCorps experience. No chainsaw experience required. Chain saw S-212 certification training will be provided. The crew season will begin with an orientation and one week of project site chainsaw training.
Saw Crew leaders and members will be eligible to apply for a 10-month NC State Parks AmeriCorps position to start September, 2018. Learn more about qualifications and responsibilities of a Chainsaw AmeriCorps Crew Member.
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Visit the NC Youth Conservation Corps Frequently Asked Questions page.
NCYCC 2017 Crews in the News:
- NCYCC Uwharrie
- NCYCC Blue Ridge Parkway
- NCYCC Jordan Lake
- NCYCC Shiloh Landing
- NCYCC Blue Ridge Parkway
- NCYCC Falls Lake
In 2016, the NCYCC protected, improved and restored trails, nature preserves, and outdoor recreation resources for the public at seven sites across North Carolina. The NCYCC also expanded its program to provide a greater diversity of experiences for young people. For the first time, the NCYCC offered three week crews for high school students and a special leadership crew for older young adults.
The first three-week crew worked for Tar River Land Conservancy and Triangle Land Conservancy on trail construction and removal of trash and invasive plants on the land conservancies’ respective preserves. The crew then moved to Cape Hatteras where, working in 100 degree heat, they removed and replaced an historic fence and painted a National Park Service building. The second three-week crew completed the historic fence building project at Cape Hatteras. A seven week youth crew worked for the National Park Service on various trail, campsite, and erosion improvements in the Pisgah area of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The NCYCC’s all-female seven week crew completed trail construction and maintenance, invasive plant removal, and fence repairs for the Army Corps of Engineers at Falls and Jordan Lakes, Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation at McDowell Nature Preserve in Charlotte and Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association at “The Rocks “ nature preserve in Durham. This crew also contributed to the work of the three week crews at Cape Hatteras, where they removed and replaced historic fence posts. Finally, a seven week young adult crew worked for the United States Forest Service in central North Carolina’s Uwharrie National Forest, where they repaired badly eroded equestrian trails. Their work included moving over 32 tons of gravel by wheelbarrow to washed out areas of the trails. Overall, this was a fantastic season for the NCYCC.
The 2015 was a busy one! One NCYCC crew restored a U.S. Forest Service trail near Blowing Rock. A second crew completed a variety of projects for the National Park Service along the Blue Ridge Parkway. A third crew worked on trail construction and facility improvements for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, trail work and invasive plant removal for the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, and launched a new public park at Shiloh Landing (near Tarboro and Princeville) for Edgecombe County. The fourth crew built a new boardwalk at Lake Waccamaw State Park, worked in two Wake County parks, and made improvements to a Mecklenburg County nature preserve owned by the Catawba Lands Conservancy. The crews’ work included the following specifics:
Thunderhole/China Creek Trail – Watauga and Caldwell Counties
- 5 miles of trail construction and maintenance and completion of a new kiosk at the trailhead
Blue Ridge Parkway between Mileposts 260 and 305 – Watauga, Caldwell, and Avery Counties
- Trail maintenance on the Boone Fork Trail, Green Knob Trail, Rough Ridge Trail, and Tanawha Trail
- Removal and construction of historic fencing at the Julian Price Picnic Area, Moses Cone Manor, and Sims Creek Overlook
Falls Lake Visitor Assistance Center – Wake County
- Construction of wildlife viewing blind and features for a nature play area
Jordan Lake – Chatham County
- 7 miles of trail construction and maintenance
Shiloh Landing – Edgecombe County
- Construction of one mile of new trail, five benches, and two picnic tables
Beaver Marsh Nature Preserve – Durham County
- Trail construction and maintenance that included four new boardwalk sections and invasive plant removal
- 150 feet of new boardwalk construction
Seven Oaks Nature Preserve – Mecklenburg County
- 50 acres of invasive plant removal, trash pick-up, habitat restoration, and trail maintenance
Harris Lake County Park – Wake County
- Construction of 60 feet of new boardwalk for the park’s disc golf course
Lake Crabtree County Park – Wake County
- Construction of a new building to house the park’s historic hand dug well for public viewing and invasive plant removal
Two camping 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, building fencing, constructing tent pads, and making repairs to facilities. A third camping 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 commuter crew built a new trail at Beaver Marsh Nature Preserve in Durham for Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, constructed trails and a playscape at the Falls Lake Visitor Assistance Center and Jordan Lake for the U.S. 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.
One camping crew built a 7-mile mountain bike trail for the U.S. Forest Service in the Croatan National Forest. A second camping crew completed a variety of projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Falls Lake, trail construction and maintenance for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and removal of invasive plants from the Eno River at Eno River State Park.
The NCYCC was created in loving memory of Martha A. Woodson.
Thanks to our 2018 Sponsors for making this program possible: Fred and Alice Stanback, Duke Energy Foundation, National Park Service, United States Forest Service, N.C. Parks and Recreation, Slick Foundation, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation, North Carolina Electric Membership Cooperatives, Woodson Family Foundation, Great Outdoor Provision Company, and numerous individual donors.