The History of the Maryland Conservation Corps

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The Maryland Conservation Corps was proposed by Governor Harry Hughes and approved by the Maryland General Assembly as one of 13 initiatives of the Chesapeake Bay Program. A young work force was targeted for recruitment to work on restoration projects in and around the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries during the summer months. In addition to providing participants with work experience, MCC taught environmental science and job readiness skills.

The Maryland Conservation Corps expanded to include a year-round program, enabling young adults between the ages of 17-25, to learn and serve for a full year. The Program enlisted 40 members to serve year-round on projects at Rosaryville State Park, Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area, Savage River State Park and Pocomoke River State Forest. The program focused on training young people extensively in park management, construction trades, tree care and hazardous tree removal, forest conservation, fisheries, and wildlife management.

MCC added two new crews: the Chesapeake Bay Crew and a Tree Care Crew.

The Maryland Conservation Corps received funding from the federal AmeriCorps program. Fifty members join for eleven months of service at Elk Neck State Park, Potomac/ Garrett State Forest, Pocomoke State Forest, Green Ridge State Forest, and near the Chesapeake Bay.

The MCC program was recognized for 10 years of conservation service with a Governor’s Citation from Governor Parris N. Glendening.

The MCC program received an Exemplary Conservation Award from the National Association for Service and Conservation Corps for its work monitoring and assessing stream conditions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The 20th Anniversary of the MCC program was recognized with a Commendation from the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, John C. Franks.

The MCC program expanded to seven crews, with established locations at: Susquehanna, Patapsco, Assateague, Tuckahoe, Greenwell, Merkle and Swallow Falls.

The MCC program celebrated 25 years of service. Click here to view photo gallery.

MCC received a Superintendent's Commendation in recognition of the program's efforts in protecting hemlock forests from the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid insect in Maryland State Parks.

Supervisor for the MCC crew at Patapsco Valley State Park, Ranger Jeffrey Mouton, received the Department of Natural Resources Employee of the Year Award. Click here to view the story.

Crew members continued to clean-up state parks following the destruction Hurricane Sandy left behind.

This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the MCC program.

MCC Alum, Ranger Chris Gleason-Smuck, received the AmeriCorps Alum Governor’s Service Award for outstanding volunteer service to the community.

The Maryland Conservation Corps celebrated the first annual Chesapeake Bay Awareness week June 4-12 by hosting a number of environmental education programs, invasive species removal projects, and guided hiking and canoeing trips.