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Hire an AmeriCorps field crew

Why hire an AmeriCorps field crew?
Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa members value hard work, community service and environmental stewardship. Corpsmembers are enrolled in AmeriCorps for an 8 to 10 month term as program participants (not employees) and join the Corps to give back to the community while gaining natural resource skills. Members are well trained and equipped to complete habitat restoration projects throughout the Midwest.

What can Conservation Corps crews do?
Crews complete projects on public lands and/or private lands for public benefit. Projects can range from one day to one week, up to several months. Crews complete projects such as:

  • Erosion control: Bio-engineering, slope stabilization, cedar tree revetments, coir blanket/roll installation
  • Vegetation management: Exotic species removal, planting, nursery activities, seed collection, shoreline & stream bank restoration, rain garden installation, timber stand improvement, prescribed burning, fire suppression 
  • Survey & data collection: GIS/GPS mapping, water-quality sampling & monitoring, tree/plant surveys, fish/wildlife surveys, man-made feature surveys 
  • Construction & carpentry: Step, retaining wall, boardwalk or bridge construction, trail clearing and maintenance, basic carpentry, natural resource facility construction & maintenance

What is the crew’s schedule?
Each Conservation Corps crew includes 1 or 2 leaders and 4 or 5 members, all 18-25 years old. Crews typically work 10-hour days Monday through Thursday, late February to mid-December. For local projects, crews report to the shop at 7 a.m. and return by 5:30 p.m. Equipment maintenance, load time, drive time and a 30-minute lunch break are included in the 10-hour day. For non-local projects, crews can camp near the work site for up to 12 consecutive days. Crews are equipped to camp in warm or mild temperatures; in cold weather, crews stay in the least expensive motel closest to the project site. Food and lodging costs will be negotiated in the contract.

Where are crews located and where can they work?
Crews are based throughout Minnesota, in central Iowa and in Missouri. Regional managers (listed below) oversee crews in their region, scheduling crew projects throughout the Midwest. 

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Northwest District: Regional Manager Anna Lipenga (based in Brainerd) - 218.203.4465
Crews work in NW Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota

Northeast District: Regional Manager Chris Severson (based in Duluth) - 507.696.6702
Crews work in NE Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan 

Central District: Regional Manager Brian Miller (based in St. Paul) - 651.209.9900 x19
Crews work in the metro area

Southern District: Regional Manager Doug Ekstrom (based in Mankato) - 507.345.4744 x108
Crews work in Southern Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming

Iowa/Missouri: Regional Manager Mark Wilson (based in Ames) - 712.229.6101
Crews work in Iowa, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana

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How much training do the crews have?
15-20% of the corps member term is dedicated to technical and personal skill training and certifications including chainsaw and brushsaw, trail maintenance, herbicide application and red card certification. Project hosts should incorporate education into the project through site introductions, ecological and social benefits and other project specific skills.

What equipment do crews have?

  • 4WD pick-up trucks with trailers to haul equipment or project material
  • Large equipment such as slip-on firefighting units, ATVs, snowmobiles, Gators or Rangers, motorboats, canoes
  • Power tools such as chain saws, brush saws, power-pole saws, drills, routers, generators
  • Hand tools such as shovels, rakes, picks, pulaskis, post-pounders, hammers, wheelbarrows 
  • Backpack sprayers and handheld herbicide application equipment
  • Prescribed burn gear including Nomex attire, bladder bags, fire shelters, drip torches
  • GPS handheld units
  • Rubber boots, hip waders, chest waders, PFDs
  • Personal protective gear including steel-toe boots, hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, chaps
  • Camping supplies including tents, sleeping bags, stoves, water containers, cooler

How do I request a crew?

  • Download the Minnesota or Iowa project request form. E-mail the completed project request form to the manager closest to your project. 
  • The manager will contact you with crew availability and negotiate project terms and rates and a contract will be drafted and agreed upon by both parties. 
  • The project will be scheduled and work can begin. Project hosts should communicate tool and equipment needs prior to project start, meet the crew in the field on the first day for a site overview and task assignment and check in with the crew periodically to monitor progress.
  • Regional managers can provide project planning and logistical support if needed, including materials acquisition and project design.