Shawnee National Forest Expands its Youth Conservation Corps

Shawnee National Forest recently welcomed 17 teenagers to its Youth Conservation Corps, nine of which hail from Oklahoma, where they are part of the Eastern Shawnee and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee in Oklahoma.  


Group of YCC Volunteers posing for a group photo YCC youth participating in a dig


Youth Conservation Corps creates jobs for United States citizens, ages 15 to 18, across the nation, in national forests, national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.  It equips young people with skills for a new career, while awakening a love for America’s Great Outdoors. While in Southern Illinois, the teenagers will remove invasive plants, improve fishing by clearing vegetation from the edges of ponds, assist with an archaeological project along the Trail of Tears, naturalize wilderness campsites, maintain trails and install trail signs in Panther Den and Garden of the Gods.

Conservation education also is an integral part of their experience. They will work with professionals to learn about wilderness and wilderness ethics, bats, fish ecology, non-native invasive species, archeology and forest health.

Learn more about Youth Conservation Corps.