As spring nears, the Western Colorado Conservation Corps ramps up for another busy year. One of three programs operated under Mesa County Partners, the WCCC offers training, education and employment on our public lands to young adults ages 16 to 25.
In 2015, the WCCC brought on 124 paid and trained youth and young adults to serve on public lands projects in Western Colorado. These members serve in variety of roles. Some work directly with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as interns. A few serve in leadership roles with the WCCC. Most of the youth and young adults at the WCCC are corpsmembers.
Corpsmembers wake up before 6 and start their assignments at 7. They work hard to string up fencing, clear tamarisk and Russian olive with chainsaws and help build the recreational trails that showcase the beautiful lands on the Western Slope.
In an effort to acknowledge the individual achievements of WCCC corpsmembers, one member is selected each year to represent the organization statewide.
On Feb. 1, the Colorado Youth Corps Association introduced Brody Fullmer as the 2015 WCCC Corpsmember of the Year at the State Capitol in Denver. Of all the corpsmembers at the WCCC in 2015, Brody was deemed to have best displayed the collaborative spirit, professionalism, punctuality, sense of community and service and work ethic involved with the corps.
Brody helped complete routine maintenance on the Colorado National Monument; built mountain bike trail features on the Gunny Loop; and used a chainsaw to clear tamarisk with Colorado Parks and Wildlife near Corn Lake, up Indian Creek with the BLM and at multiple locations on the Dolores and Gunnison rivers. Brody also spent eight days with the U.S. Forest Service working on the trail up Mount Wetterhorn.
These experiences introduced Brody to a wide variety of what Western Colorado has to offer. They also allowed him to demonstrate his blossoming professional and leadership skills.
A 2014 graduate of Grand Junction High School, Brody joined the WCCC to gain outdoor experience and give back to his community. He went out of his way to help his fellow crew members and project partners.
In addition to the money Brody earned at the WCCC, he also completed two AmeriCorps education awards worth $3,643, which he’s planning on using to obtain his Emergency Medical Technician certificate at Western Colorado Community College. He hopes to become a firefighter.
The WCCC program is currently seeking applications for corpsmembers and crew leaders for 2016.