In 2010, the Maryland Legislature established the Chesapeake Conservation Corps Program to promote and sustain the environment by providing young adults with opportunities to gain career skills and become more engaged through meaningful community service in the fields of environmental restoration, sustainable agriculture, energy conservation, forestry and environmental education. This leadership program, supported by the Trust, Constellation Energy, and the state of Maryland, matches young adults with organizations throughout the state for paid, fulltime, one-year term of service. Individuals must be between the ages of 18 and 25 years at the time of enrollment. Corps Volunteers will receive an annual stipend of $15,500 plus health insurance, administered by the Trust. The purpose of the Corps Program is two-fold: the first is for stipend Volunteers to work with Host Organizations and communities throughout Maryland to implement on-the-ground restoration and energy conservation projects. The second is to provide leadership and training opportunities for young adults pursuing environmental and conservation careers.
The Chesapeake Bay Trust is proud to announce the fourth year of solicitations for Volunteer Applications for the 2013-14 Chesapeake Conservation Corps. The Corps Program has grown from 16 Volunteers in its inaugural year to 21 in its second year to now 26 exceptional young people in year three who will gain valuable work experience and partner with local communities to advance conservation initiatives in Maryland by working on energy efficiency programs, restoration activities and neighborhood clean-ups, water quality monitoring programs, reforestation projects, job training programs for youth and so on. Even more, almost 30% of all program participants have been hired by their host organizations, which illustrates that the program not only creates employment opportunities but also increases the capacity of participating organizations to further their environmental missions. Additionally, the program has a 100% retention rate – not a single volunteer has ever left the program early with the exception of those hired on mid-service term by their host organizations.
The Corps Program provides service-learning opportunities and green job preparation for young adults through multiple trainings, a capstone project, grant writing, site visits at other Host sites and attending the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum. Corps volunteers are also involved in a variety of activities and projects, including promoting, preserving, and protecting local streams, rivers, the Bay, and Maryland’s other natural resources; working with communities to promote energy conservation and mitigate threats to the environment; pursuing leadership opportunities that will advance environmental and conservation careers; obtaining training for careers that will be part of the emerging green economy; and educating and training communities about the long-term actions needed to promote, preserve, protect, and sustain the environment. One of the beauties of this Program is that each position at each Host each year is different. As a result, you can have one Volunteer out on a kayak performing water quality monitoring, another leading an energy conservation campaign or another working on a sustainable farm. Still the entire group is intertwined and visiting each other’s sites, attending each other’s events and always networking.
The Host Application Deadline has just passed and as a result any interested potential Volunteer Applicant can review the submitted Host applications to learn more about the organization and the position they are offering. After the April 19th deadline Volunteer and Host Applicants will begin to contact and connect with each other to determine their top picks. In June both Volunteer and Host Applicants will submit a ranking sheet of their top 5 which will be an important factor in determining who his matched and with whom. One can view all of the submitted Host Applications on our website.
Please click here to download the application. All applications must be RECEIVED by 5pm on April 19, 2013.
For any questions about becoming a Host Organization or about the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, contact Tara Baker, 410-974-2941, ext. 102.