The River Management Society of Takoma Park, Maryland published Summer Youth Coordinator Nina Eagen's article discussing the work of Conservation Corps Minnesota and Department of Natural Resources on the Cloquet River in their Winter 2012 issue of the RMS Journal. The Society aims to connect to Conservation Corps organizations so staff and students can learn about options of working for and making a difference in the nation's rivers.
Paddling hard downstream, gear filling the canoe up to the gunnels, crews of youth workers slip by the thick verdant green forests of the Cloquet River in northern Minnesota. Conservation Corps Minnesota is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides hands-on environmental restoration and service-learning opportunities to young people. Conservation Corps Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are working together to improve access to the Cloquet River.
About half of the youth on the crew had never canoed before. Anna Jefferson, one of the crew leaders on the project finds the team building aspect of working on a river invaluable. "The crew quickly learns teamwork while trying to steer the canoes around rocks and river bends. There are a few rapids where there isn't a portage...one of us got stuck, and another youth had to get out and help the canoe get unstuck. It goes back to camaraderie and helping each other get down the river."