A new AmeriCorps environmental education and stewardship program
Albany, NY – September 15, 2015 – Governor Cuomo announced the launch of New York State’s Excelsior Conservation Corps, a new AmeriCorps environmental education and stewardship program for 18 to 25 year olds. Once enrolled in the program, members will perform meaningful environmental projects across New York State while gaining hands on-experience and skills in conservation careers.
“The Excelsior Conservation Corps will offer young New Yorkers the opportunity to gain skills and training while addressing some of our state’s most pressing environmental needs,” Governor Cuomo said. “Continuing this state’s rich tradition of environmental stewardship, this new initiative will help ensure New York becomes cleaner and greener than ever before.”
Envisioned in Governor Cuomo’s 2015 Opportunity Agenda, the Excelsior Conservation Corps will enroll 50 members, striving for diverse membership and veteran engagement. The 10-month service program will begin in January 2016 and will be administers by the Student Conservation Association, a leading national organization in youth and young adult conservation service and environmental education programs.
“The Excelsior Conservation Corps will build upon New York’s environmental legacy, protecting and enhancing the state’s natural resources while ensuring it’s continued stewardship by empowering the next generation of conservation leaders,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who attended today’s press conference.
The program will be funded through $1.9 million in combined state and federal funding. The New York State Environmental Protection Fund, New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation and the State University of New York will provide a total of $1 million for the program. The New York State Commission on National and Community Service, in partnership with the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, has also committed $850,000 of AmeriCorps funding to the program. Additional funding will be secured by the Student Conservation Association through sponsorships and private donations.