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Forest Conservation Corps



Applications for youth participants are open NOW!

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​This summer RYO invites young people aged 14-16 to get outside on the Rensselaer Plateau. 


Inspired by the work of the Youth Conservation Corps this FREE program offers young people a chance to start and finish a project on one of our partner’s sites, practice skills that you can use in the woods, explore and play, and learn from professionals who work in the field of environmental conservation. 


A typical day might look like this:

  • 8:30AM: Arrive on site

  • 9-12PM: get your hands dirty working on one of our many site projects. Examples include: preparing the land for an ADA accessible trail, maintaining a current trail, removing invasive species, building a nature play area, or cleaning up a nature area used by the community. 

  • 12-1PM: fuel up with lunch (you bring your own)

  • 1-3PM: learn a skill, explore careers in the outdoors, hike a trail, or practice mindfulness. Examples include; learn how to make a fire without matches or a lighter, navigate using a compass, identify aquatic species in the nearby stream, hear from a local ecologist or forest ranger, or forage for wild edibles with a professional. 

  • 3-3:30PM: pack up, clean up and get ready to head home. 


With the help of a grant from the US Forest Service's Urban Connections Program, and contributions from the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, Friends of Dyken Pond, and the Rensselaer Land Trust, we are able to offer each teen that completes one of these weeks a financial stipend of $100. That’s right, we want to pay you for your time, energy and participation. Youth are the present and future of this planet, we need you! 

Dates include:

Jul 5- 7th Grafton Lakes State Park  
Jul 10th - 14th Poestenkill Community Forest 
Jul 17th- 21st John B. Staalesen Vanderheyden Preserve 
Jul 24th- 28th Valentino Family Community Forest 
Jul 31st - Aug 4th Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center 
Aug 7th- 11th Albert Family Community Forest

Have questions about the program? Contact RYO Director Michala Hendrick with the subject line "FCC 2023"



Visit our Facebook and Instagram using the links below to see photos and adventures from FCC 2022

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