Thanks to generous support from Connecticut Community Foundation and donors like you, PRWC was able to continue the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program this past summer! The 2019 Youth Conservation Corps team consisted of five area teens and was led by Amanda Keilty of Bethlehem serving as the 2019 Dr. Marc J. Taylor Intern and YCC Crew Leader. Jonathan Robert of Morris, Bethany Brown of Oakville, Dillon Larkin of Newtown, Jeremy Larkin of Newtown and Aidan Essig of Southbury completed conservation projects, participated in a diverse learning experience, and collaborated on a river exchange program with the Naugatuck River Brigade in the 2019 YCC season.
Projects included water testing and monitoring detailed in the Watershed Based Plan to support future management measures; collaborative projects and learning opportunities with conservation partners, rain barrel workshops and outreach facilitation, work on riparian buffer and trail maintenance, erosion prevention, wetland protection and installation of storm-drain markers.
Over the course of their six-week season, the Crew was able to achieve the following quantitative outputs:
Completed 24 projects at 17 different work sites:
Installed 470 storm drain markers along 36 different roads in Woodbury, Bethlehem, and Southbury, CT.
Removed one truckload full of trash and large debris from the Pomperaug River at Flood Bridge Road and another truckload at the Audubon Bent of the River (BOTR) in Southbury, CT.
Walked trails and removed four contractor bags of trash at Janie Pierce Park and one contractor bag of trash at Flood Bridge Road in Southbury, CT.
Collected 26 stream samples for bacteria and nitrate analysis from 13 different monitoring sites along the Nonnewaug, Weekeepeemee, and Pomperaug Rivers in Bethlehem, Woodbury, and Southbury, CT. Simultaneously, conducted spot checks on stream temperature data loggers at 10 monitoring sites.
Hosted four Rain Barrel Workshops during which 25 participants constructed a total of 71 rain barrels to take home and install at their downspout to capture runoff from their roof. Each rain barrel can capture upwards of 1,300 gallons of runoff a year.
Clipped and cleared vegetation overgrowing 3.7 miles of trail at Janie Pierce Park and Phillips-Lovdal Farm Preserve in Southbury, CT.
Removed about 415 feet of invasive plants from Strong Meadow Preserve in Woodbury, CT and Cedarland Park, Phillips-Lovdal Farm Preserve, and the Audubon BOTR in Southbury, CT.
Facilitated two education activities (Fashion a Fish and The Pucker Effect) for two groups of summer camp kids at the Audubon BOTR in Southbury, CT.
Edged and weeded the Rain Garden at the Community House Park in Southbury, CT; 5 gallons of weeds were removed.
Created and blazed a new 1.6 mile loop trail at the River Road Preserve in Roxbury, CT.
Removed a kayak full of trash and large debris from the Shepaug River in Roxbury, CT.
Removed tons of trash and large debris from the Naugatuck River behind Roller Magic in Waterbury, CT.
Surveyed macroinvertebrates in the Nonnewaug River and East Meadow Brook at Strong Meadow Preserve in Woodbury, CT.
Performed buffer maintenance at Cedarland Park in Southbury, CT. Removed 2.25 tons of Watercress from the stream channel and cleared 1 ton of Mugwort which are composting onsite. Also removed weeds overgrowing the stone stairs that provide access to the Pomperaug River.
Assembled 10 Water Conservation Education Kits for Connecticut Water and Maine Water Companies.
Assembled and mailed 35 RiverSmart Pledge Participation Packets.
Project site partners, including Audubon Bent of the River, Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust, Roxbury Land Trust, Southbury Land Trust, Town of Bethlehem, Town of Southbury, and the Town of Woodbury, were appreciative of the outstanding work completed by the Youth Conservation Corps team as they helped complete several conservation projects that may not have happened without such collaboration.
For additional photos and details, download the full report of this season's accomplishments. Included are photos of the crew in action along with before and after photos from various project sites; project descriptions; crew member testimonials and project partner site testimonials.