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Youth Conservation Corps Season in Full Swing -- Meet the Crew!

In early July, Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition (PRWC) welcomed five area teens to its 2019 Youth Conservation Corps team, which is led by Amanda Keilty of Bethlehem (front) who is serving as the 2019 Dr. Marc J. Taylor Intern and YCC Crew Leader. Pictured with Amanda from left to right are: Aidan Essig of Southbury, Dillon Larkin of Newtown, Bethany Brown of Oakville, Jonathan Robert of Morris, and Jeremy Larkin of Newtown. The YCC crew member positions were made possible through generous grant support from the Connecticut Community Foundation.

The YCC crew works for six weeks in the summertime on projects that promote water resource conservation and pollution prevention. In just their first two and half weeks on the job, the crew has removed invasive plants at the Audubon Bent of the River (BOTR) in Southbury, cleaned up trash in and along the Pomperaug River in Southbury, collected stream samples from the Weekeepeemee, Pomperaug, and Nonnewaug Rivers, led fun water-themed activities for kids in grades 1-8 at a local summer camp program, installed storm drain markers in Woodbury, and led four Rain Barrel workshops. Other projects slated for this season are trail building with the Roxbury Land Trust, riparian buffer maintenance in Southbury and Woodbury, along with additional stream sampling and stormdrain marker installation. The crew will also be spending a week where they will work together with the Naugatuck River Brigade (NRB) team in a "cross-cultural river exchange". The NRB team will join the YCC in the Pomperaug Watershed for two days to learn about and participate in our stream sampling program and an invasive plant removal project, and then the YCC team will join the NRB in the Naugatuck River to help with ongoing trash clean-up efforts between Waterbury and Naugatuck.

Meet the Crew

Bethany is from Oakville, Ct. She is interested in wildlife conservation and will be attending the University of Maine in Orono, Me this fall. This summer, she hopes to gain outdoor field experience. Bethany wants to learn more about wildlife conservation and preservation.

Jonathan is from Morris, Ct. He is an Eagle Scout and is not afraid of hard work. He has participated in several restoration and trail maintenance projects. He will be attending Naugatuck Valley Community College in the fall. Jonathan looks forward to learning about and implementing rain gardens and performing trail maintenance this season.

Jeremy is from Newtown, Ct. He is passionate about the environment, combating climate change, and protecting endangered species. He will be majoring in Environmental Engineering at the University of New Hampshire this fall. Jeremy hopes to gain field experience and learn more about outdoor conservation.

Dillon is from Newtown, Ct and is Jeremy’s twin brother. He has done water quality research and has landscaping experience. He will attend St. Lawrence University in the fall and major in Environmental Engineering. Dillon wants to learn more about identifying plants this summer and improve his conservation knowledge.

Aidan is from Southbury, Ct. He has a love for nature and a passion for being outdoors. He attends Taft where he plays several sports. He is interested in environmental science. Aidan wants to learn more about outdoor work and the science behind it.

Amanda is from Bethlehem, Ct and is the Dr. Marc J. Taylor Intern and Youth Conservation Corps Crew Leader for the 2019 summer season. She is a graduate of Northern Vermont University and an enthusiastic environmental scientist. She's excited to be working with the crew and learning the ins and outs of working for a nonprofit conservation organization.

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