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Conservation Corps to return to Greencastle center

April 30, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Conservation Corps, which has finished more than $500,000 worth of building and renovation projects in the Greencastle and Antrim Township, Pa., area, will perform another $85,000 worth this summer at the Greencastle-Antrim school district's environmental center.

Charles White, director of Tayamentasachta, the district's 35-acre environmental education farm, said Conservation Corps workers will spend a year at the center from July 1 through June 30, 2004, working on a variety of projects.

The Conservation Corps selects young people who lack workplace skills, life skills and self-confidence and teach them through hands-on experience. The corps is committed to a comprehensive approach that fosters teamwork and individual accomplishment through community service, according to information provided by the Conservation Corps.

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Corps members are eligible for nearly $5,000 in scholarship money if they complete 1,700 hours of service in the corps.

Since the organization was organized statewide in 1984, its workers have completed more than 1,000 projects in urban, suburban and rural areas. They have improved 63 miles of streams, 4,000 acres of wildlife habitat, 20,400 acres of forest land, built 650 picnic tables, 542 cabins and lodgings, improved 8,300 miles of trails, rehabilitated 243 historic buildings and planted more than 640,000 trees. Corps members have helped communities rebuild after natural disasters.

Their record at Tayamentasachta is equally impressive, White said. In the last six years, the young workers, under trained adult supervision, rebuilt an 18th-century stone spring house, built a new classroom building, repointed the historic brick house and barn on the property and planted more than 300 trees.

This year's projects at Tayamentasachta includes building a 25-foot-by-50-foot pole barn to store equipment, repairing the center's greenhouse, improving the stream bed along Paddy Run, building a 75-foot retaining wall to reduce erosion around the pond, making shutters and weatherizing the farmhouse, White said.

They will remove, prune and plant trees, maintain trails through the center and improve handicapped accessibility on trails and in buildings.

If the weather turns bad, White has set up some inside projects for the corps members to work on, including building five picnic tables, working on a historic display, building props for environmental education programs and removing graffiti.

Elsewhere in Antrim Township, corps members built restrooms at the Jerome R. King Playground, built a gazebo and worked on trails at Antrim Township's community park and renovated monuments and fences at Enoch Brown Park, White said.

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