“When I think back on my experience it feels like it went by so fast, but we did so much!” said Justin Hanson, 2000 crew leader for the then ‘Windom Crew’. His crew was lucky to be given a wide range of project opportunities such as; bridge repair, wetland restoration, buckthorn removal, nesting inventories and (his favorite) fish studies.
Justin praises the Corps as a unique opportunity to participate in experiences that wouldn’t have come along in any other career, including the opportunity to build close relationships with his crew. The teamwork, leadership experience and technical skills he learned led him to a full time job with the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) where he has built a 16-year career!
Justin is the District Manager for SWCD and Administrator for the Cedar River Watershed District. His work feels familiar to the Corps as he leads a crew doing similar water quality and habitat work. “It is on a different scale, but we are still working to get projects on the ground,” Justin says. He has also continued to work with Conservation Corps. Since 2008, field crews and Conservation Apprentices have worked on projects with the Mower SWCD. Justin uses his Corps experience to provide meaningful and fun projects for Corps members while helping them make connections to help further their career.
Justin values his Corps experience and does what he can to support and share the good work we continue to do every day.