Blackett considers his time in the Corps as the beginning of his career in the
outdoors. He served on a Youth Conservation Corps crew in 1975, at Tamarac
National Wildlife Refuge in northern Minnesota near Detroit Lakes, primarily
building trails and restoring habitat. He loved being physically active
outdoors and experiencing the changing of seasons “in the front seat,” he said.
One of his most memorable experiences was using cannon nets to capture
geese for banding and collaring, and he credits all his Corps experiences for
pointing him to the work he’s loved doing since then.
Over the past 38 years, Blackett worked a variety of natural resource jobs including forestry and wildlife tech, tour and interpretive guide, outdoor recreation skills instructor, trip leader and park service officer. He recently retired after 13 years with Three Rivers Park District where he recruited, processed and tracked more than 1,800 ongoing, and roughly that many short-term, volunteers each year. He also completed the Minnesota Master Naturalist program and is now focusing his work on collaborative community building and visioning.