Marching on with the Youth Conservation Corps

The Youth Conservation Corps’ (YCC) mission is to install Best Management Practices (BMPs) that mitigate erosion and to spread awareness of erosion issues around the Belgrade Lakes watershed (Great Pond, Long Pond, East Pond, North Pond, Salmon/McGrath, and Messalonskee). BMPs are designed by the Department of Environmental Protection and they reduce sedimentation and eutrophication in our lakes. The Conservation Corps installs a wide variety of BMPs and uses many techniques that prevent erosion.

The program just celebrated its 20th anniversary and I want to share a brief history of YCC in the Belgrade Lakes watershed and my appreciation. The YCC started working in the Belgrade Lakes watershed in 1996. It began in the back of Bob Joly’s pick-up with only a handful of crew members. The program began by installing 22 BMPs the first summer and the following year that number improved to 30 BMPs. Now YCC has an office in the Maine Lakes Resource Center located in Belgrade Lakes village. Last year we installed 125 BMPs across the 180 square mile watershed with 12 crew members, 2 supervisors, and 1 director. The success the YCC has today is due to the fortuitous foundation that was laid before my time. I must express my appreciation for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing program. I am standing on the shoulders of giants.

The YCC is also looking for project sites. Contact the Conservation Corps director, Nathan D. Durant to schedule a site visit and get a free estimate for suggested BMPs. The YCCs season runs for eight weeks from Late June to Early August. Our policy is first come, first serve. So don’t hesitate. Send Nathan an e-mail or call (207-931-8791).

Photo Credit:  Christie Souza

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