A Cleaner and Greener Detroit: Conservation Leadership Corps Wraps Up Six-Week Teen Employment Program


Conservation Leadership Corps Wraps Up Six-Week Teen Employment Program

Sep 2009 , Detroit : One hundred and ten high school students from Detroit spent their summer landscaping, planting and pruning hundreds of trees, building and maintaining miles of trails, constructing native timber benches, removing invasive plants, repairing drainage and erosion issues, and constructing a greenhouse.

The students – selected from more than 2,200 applicants – were part of the Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC), a unique summer jobs program sponsored by Johnson Controls, The Greening of Detroit and the Student Conservation Association (SCA). Throughout the program, they received training and education in conservation and environmental stewardship, along with exposure to job readiness, leadership and teamwork skills.
For the first time this year, in addition to the traditional crews, a team of CLC interns was created to assist with a variety of unique jobs, including: Educating city residents about energy efficiency and making simple home repairs; weatherizing and energy auditing 75 homes in Detroit; designing and building an outdoor classroom and indoor environmental lab at Barbara Jordan Elementary School; conducting an extensive tree inventory; and reclaiming two green picnic shelters on Belle Isle using alternative building materials and practices.
“We are very proud of the work the Corps members have done this summer in Detroit,” said Charles A. Harvey, vice president of diversity and public affairs for Johnson Controls. “With the global headquarters of our Automotive Experience business and offices for our Building Efficiency business located in metro Detroit, this program for city teens is a great fit as part of our long-time community support initiatives.
“There is a great need in the city of Detroit for the conservation work the Corps members completed this summer,” said Rebecca Salminen-Witt, president of The Greening of Detroit. “There is also a great need to employ the city’s youth and the Detroit Conservation Leadership Corps fulfills both of these needs. To ensure the program’s continuation, we’ll be working to get more corporate sponsors involved. Detroit and its future – its youth – depend on programs like this to provide opportunities where few exist.”
The Detroit CLC program kicked off July 6 with the students gaining hands-on experience in environmental conservation. Over the course of the program, the students worked in parks and neighborhoods throughout Detroit, including Rouge Park, Belle Isle, the Dequindre Cut Greenway, Burton Elementary School, Meyer’s Tree Nursery and Detroit’s Hope District.
The entire CLC program wrapped up with a graduation and awards ceremony in August at Belle Isle.
“The Student Conservation Association strives to empower young people and get them excited about nature and caring for the world they live in,” said Dale Penny, president of SCA. “Through our partnership with Johnson Controls and The Greening of Detroit, we have been able to help foster an appreciation for all living things and create a sense of pride and accomplishment in the youth of Detroit.”
Additional support for the program was provided by: Chase; the City of Detroit Community Development Block Grant and Neighborhood Opportunity Fund programs; the City of Detroit Workforce Development Department; City Connect Detroit; the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth; Michigan Works! Association; Masco Corporation Foundation; SAP Americas; and the Walmart Foundation.
Detroit is the third U.S city in which Johnson Controls has launched the summer green jobs program. The Conservation Leadership Corps program started in 2006 in Milwaukee, where Johnson Controls is headquartered, and was expanded to Baltimore in 2007. These programs continue, and this year the program has also been introduced in China, the United Kingdom, Germany and Mexico.

About Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) is the global leader that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel. By integrating technologies, products and services, we create smart environments that redefine the relationships between people and their surroundings. Our team of 140,000 employees creates a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world through our products and services for more than 200 million vehicles, 12 million homes and one million commercial buildings. Our commitment to sustainability drives our environmental stewardship, good corporate citizenship in our workplaces and communities, and the products and services we provide to customers. For additional information, please visit http://www.johnsoncontrols.com.

About the Student Conservation Association

SCA is a nationwide conservation force of college and high school students who protect and restore America’s parks, forests, refuges, seashores and communities. For more than 50 years, SCA’s active, hands-on practice of conservation service has helped to develop a new generation of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save the planet. SCA is a non-profit headquartered in Charlestown, New Hampshire with regional offices in Washington D.C., Oakland, Pittsburgh and Seattle. For further information, visit http://www.thesca.org.

About The Greening of Detroit

The Greening of Detroit is devoted to guiding and inspiring the “greening” of the city of Detroit through planting projects, environmental education, environmental leadership, advocacy and by building community capacity. Since 1989, The Greening has planted over 50,000 trees, engaged thousands of young people in its mission and supported the production of tons of produce through urban agriculture programming. For more information, visit http://www.greeningofdetroit.com.

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