Thursday June 18, 2020
In our tradition of resilience, adaptation, risk management and leadership, MCC is moving forward with our programs in a manner that mobilizes the enthusiasm and talents of young people to improve our public lands and protect our communities. With young people so adversely impacted by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and not immune to the health ravages of the new coronavirus, MCC is proud to be a part of the solution. Currently, over 250 young people are engaging in exceptional and safe opportunities to grow as leaders, stewards of the land and engaged citizens, and they are doing so in an environment that welcomes their diversity and is inclusive and striving for equity. Even in this pandemic, and especially in light of the national movement to advance opportunity and justice for all people, MCC is finding ways to serve our mission.
In truth, we couldn’t have gotten to this point this year without the support of donors, project partners, federal COVID-19 relief programs, the sharing of wisdom and best practices among our national community of conservation corps, and the strong motivation of young people to be of service. We thank you all for the support you’ve provided over these past months.
The health and well-being of our corps members, staff, project partners, and communities remains paramount in our planning and operations. MCC is operating under strict COVID-19 safety protocols developed with guidance from medical and legal advisors. We continue to monitor the spread and impact of the virus and we are following state directives and CDC guidelines to operate our programs. While MCC state office and regional office operations are modified to adapt best practices for safety and health, we are fully operational.
Field Crews: MCC currently has 31 field crews serving from our four regional offices. MCC has implemented practices to protect the health of our crew members and manage their interactions with communities so as to reduce risks of virus transmission. With MCC participants coming from all parts of the country, all corps members started their AmeriCorps term of service with a 2-week shelter-at-home period to limit risks of transmission. During this period they completed an online orientation designed by our staff, and they participated in daily, socially distanced, and masked as appropriate, physical training. Crew members are currently working within their “crew family,” spending their weeks outdoors serving on conservation projects.
Conservation Interns/Fellows and Big Sky Watershed Corps: With excellent support from our host site partners, MCC individual placement program members are serving across the Northern Rockies and Plains. We are in regular contact with these members and their host site supervisors, and continue to implement practices to ensure their health and safety as they complete their projects. MCC anticipates offering additional Conservation Intern positions starting mid to late summer. See “Positions” on our website for opportunities.
Youth Programs and Tribal Crews: Out of concern for the health of our youngest participants, and in support for the concerns of indigenous communities to protect the health of elders and other community members, MCC is currently suspending all youth and tribal programs. We continue to monitor our capacity and the needs of partners as we determine when it will be appropriate to resume these important programs and partnerships for MCC.