Posted in ACLC, MHYC News, Service Story, Summer of Service, tagged AmeriCorps, Denver, Environment, Green, Green Jobs, MHYC, Mile High Youth Corps, Platte River, Service on June 17, 2009 |
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This week the mighty Rock Climber crew worked in a beautiful location on the South Platte River called Lone Rock campground. Each morning we hopped in the van and got ready for the winding drive to the site which put most everybody to sleep…luckily the drivers were able to drink enough coffee to stay awake.
The crew worked on a variety of tasks which included placement of new fire pits, site signs, and construction of new picnic tables. The group really came together and were able to work so efficiently that at the end of the week we threw a very nice potluck / BBQ. We got our hands dirty and made some real changes to the site which I think all of us are proud of and look forward to learning more and spending as much time as we can in these amazing locations. It’s gonna be a great summer!
- Ben Watson
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Rosebushes, earthworms and junipers, OH MY! The sweet little suburb of Wheatridge, CO might not seem that wild, but it’s a jungle out there! The “Rock climbers” summer crew has finished their first week of work just west of Denver where kids were starting off their summer vacations with early morning bike rides through the Richards-Hart Estate and dogs were jumping fences to briefly steal our attention from the work before us.
The week got off to a rough start due to soggy ground and rainy weather, but by Wednesday we found ourselves just a quick drive from MHYC headquarters at one of the charming parks in the city of Wheatridge.
We had great sponsors who supplied us with a huge bin full of snacks to get us through our long, ten-hour days and had infinite knowledge on the plants and projects at hand. We spent the week pulling weeds, planting flowers and removing shrubs but our biggest and most demanding task was building a path around the perimeter of the main flower-filled area of the Richard-Hart Estate. We started by removing sod and digging the path out about four inches. After lining the path with metal to ensure the separation from the grass and the path, a crushed granite mixture was added to spread evenly along the walkway. While all this might not seem that demanding, it took all eleven of us focusing and working as a team to complete the project by Friday.
It was our first week getting to know each other and we seem to have a good thing going, encouraging each other, teaching each other and even sharing some corny jokes over lunch.
This summer I’ll be alternating between two crews weekly, so next week I’ll be spending the week with the “Trailblazer” crew and utilizing my awesome chainsawing skills attacking Russian Olive trees. I’ll be back next week with tails from the “Trailblazers” and hopefully all my limbs in tact!
- Vanessa Notman
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Us Mile High Youth Corps ACLCs (AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation) are always hard at work trying to change the world a little bit at a time. Some of the highlights from last week include:
- On Tuesday, June 2nd, we served at the St. Johns Soup Kitchen lending a helping hand. We served food, and ate some food too!
- On Wednesday, June 3rd we made a special appearance at Lake Middle School. When we were not playing basketball or tag, we managed to teach lessons about to the students about the environment.
- T.J. Thomas
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Some of us forgot water bottles. Sleeping bags. Mess kits. Some of us didn’t know what a mess kit was. Some of us had never been to the mountains. Never been camping. Never gone five days without a shower. We are the seventeen AmeriCorps Leadership and Conservation (ACLC) 2009 corpsmembers, working for Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC) since February. Shockingly enough, we survived and — gasp — some might even say enjoyed our Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA) camping trip.
On Monday morning we loaded up our backpacks, jammed coolers full of food and headed up the winding roads toward Golden Gate State Park. On the drive up, some of us slept, some of us daydreamed about building the perfect fire, and some of us watched the tall buildings of Denver and the noise of Federal Boulevard fade into the rear view mirror. We said goodbye to cell phone service and flush toilets and said hello to tall pine trees and marshmallows browned on sticks.
We spent the week learning how to properly build trails and rock walls, how to become successful leaders, and we embedded ourselves deeper into the culture of youth corps, learning the importance and magnitude of being a part of something bigger than ourselves. Each day, we woke with the sun after freezing nights bundled in sleeping bags, packed our bags with PB and J’s, water bottles and rain gear and headed out to workshops.
We were divided into different classes based on the specific crews we will be working on this summer. Some of us learned how to give important environmental education presentations while some us spent the day trying to keep up with 80-something-year-old Steve Austin as he rained his extensive trail building knowledge upon us. We were out in the field using tools, sweating under hard hats and getting a taste of the exciting summer months ahead of us.
On our last night we huddled around the campfire as the stars came out, told ghost stories and — even though some of us didn’t want to admit it — thought about how quickly the week passed. Friday morning we filed back into the vans and headed back to Denver with dirt under our fingernails dreaming of the showers and beds awaiting our arrival. Some of us had their first camping trip officially under their belt. Some of us learned skills we will use this summer and later in life. Some of us still had the grit of cowboy coffee stuck in between their teeth. But all of us survived.
Vanessa Notman, MHYC Corpsmember
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