On April 9th, 832 mayors from big cities to small towns and everything in between participated in the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. Mayor Nabours, from the City of Flagstaff, read a proclamation at City Hall, recognizing the AmeriCorps programs in Flagstaff. CREC staff were in attendance for the presentation and later gathered to celebrate at a reception with other service programs in Flagstaff. The first-ever Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service was led by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS); Cities of Service; the National League of Cities; and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “It is a testament to the effectiveness of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs that nearly one-third of Americans will have their mayor participating in this first-ever Day of Recognition,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “We're proud to stand with this bipartisan group of mayors. These leaders are shining a bright light on the impact of AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers as they improve neighborhoods and transform lives across the country.”
Join CREC in the celebration of all things AmeriCorps! March 9th - 17th is AmeriCorps Week. Stay tuned for a schedule of events.
Last week, a youth crew from the Nature Conservancy in Silver City, New Mexico passed through Flagstaff and visited with one of our NACC crews. The youth crew is studying ecological restoration and forest health and while they are well versed in the subject area, they’ve been limited on field experience. Shadowing CREC gave them an opportunity to see the field work firsthand. The crew spent the afternoon with Mitch Lazarz’s crew, who happened to be chainsawing in the San Francisco Peaks last week. Each CREC Corpsmember had 1 or 2 youth crew members shadow them as they explained the process of evaluating and felling a tree. Needless to say it was a great opportunity for both crews to learn and grow from each other. Thanks to The Nature Conservancy for the meet up.
Alex Hreha was recognized as one of six Corpsmembers of the Year, this February, in Washington D.C. as part of The Corps Network’s National Conference. Alex traveled to Washington with CREC staff members, Miquelle Scheier and Allison Laramee for the four day conference. The Conference kept them busy, attending roundtables, meeting local politicians, delivering speeches and enjoying the atmosphere with other corps programs. Miquelle Scheier introduced and presented CREC Founder, John Irish, with The Corps Network Legacy Award. John was instrumental in the early years of CREC and has continued to impact the conservation world. He currently sits on the board for the Southwest Conservation Corps. Miquelle, Allison and Alex met with many Arizona Representatives on Capitol Hill, including Rep. Rual Grijalva from Tucson, AZ. It was a great opportunity to discuss shared goals for conservation in the southwest. Alex and Allison also toured The White House and while neither had an Obama spotting they thoroughly enjoyed the tour.
A member of the Coconino Rural Environment Corps (CREC) has been honored by the nationwide Corps Network. CREC is a local Flagstaff conservation corps administered by the Coconino County Community Services Department. Alex Hreha was selected as one of the six Corpsmembers nationwide to receive this honor. He represents more than 30,000 Corpsmembers across the nation.
The Corps Network, which is the voice of the nation’s 150+ Service and Conservation Corps, will honor Hreha and the other five awardees at the Annual Corps Forum in Washington D.C. in February. The awards ceremony will be held Feb.13 on Capitol Hill with members of the Arizona congressional delegation in attendance.
Hreha, an Arizona native from Sedona, first started working with CREC through its local Youth Conservation Corps program in 2010, and leveraged this experience into subsequent successful AmeriCorps terms with the CREC Northern Arizona Conservation Corps program in 2011 and 2012. Hreha is currently employed as an Assistant Crew Leader with CREC’s Verde Watershed Restoration Crew based out of Cottonwood, Arizona.
Since its inception in 1997, CREC has been honored with Corpsmember of the Year awards in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. CREC also received Project of the Year awards from The Corps Network in 2006, 2008, and 2011 and The Corps Network Excellence in Corps Operations accreditation in 2006 and 2009.
CREC also nominated its founder John Irish for the Legacy Achievement Award and Irish is slated to receive this honor in Washington D.C. on Feb. 13. This award will recognize leaders with approximately 20 or more years of contribution to the Corps movement. Irish currently resides in Colorado and is an Executive Board Member with the Southwest Conservation Corps.
Based on the Corps model used successfully throughout the US for more than 75 years to address critical environmental and infrastructure needs, CREC has been providing youth and young adult workforce development opportunities and natural and cultural resource conservation services in collaboration with a wide variety of community partners for 15 years.
Established in 1985, The Corps Network's 150 + members currently operate in all states and the District of Columbia. Corps collectively enroll over 30,000 Corpsmembers from ages 16-25 while mobilizing approximately 289,000 community volunteers who, in conjunction with Corpsmembers, generate 13.5 million hours of service every year.
For more information, visit www.crecweb.org.
Fall is a busy season here at CREC and we added four crews to our current crews for a total of eight. The first week of October we met 28 new faces and sent them through a few weeks of training. Now they are hard at work all over Arizona, building trails, restoring habitats and removing invasive plants.
One of our new crews in particular is working long days on the Verde River in conjunction with the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition. The crew of eight will spend 11 weeks devoted to removing invasive plants like Tamarisk, Russian Olive and Tree of Heaven, all in an effort to restore the Verde watershed.
Scattered across the state of Arizona you will find youth ages 15 to 18 hard at work, building trails, fences and removing noxious weeds as part of CREC's Youth Conservation Corps. The YCC crews this summer are based out of Flagstaff, Williams, Fredonia and the Verde Valley and led by mentors ages 18 to 25.
In preparation for their season, the six crews gathered at Wupatki National Monument, in early June, for a five day orientation camp out where they learned basic first aid, CPR and the technical skills necessary for the work ahead. It was also a time for the crews to bond and work on building a strong foundation for their crew. They will be working together Monday through Friday and a close knit group just makes work more enjoyable and summer more fun
A special thanks goes out to Judy Tincher for all her hard work to run this orientation and get YCC rolling this summer, and also to the YCC Mentors, Mitch, Kern, Alana, Kevin, Paula, Devin, Helen, Roman, Alex, Erin, Phillip and Katie. We'll keep you posted on their projects; over the next couple weeks.
On June 2, 2012 CREC joined the Flagstaff Ranger District and the Flagstaff community to work on the Loop Trail, a 42-mile trail circumnavigating the city of Flagstaff. Over 200 people volunteered to work on a 1.5 mile stretch of trail for a few hours and then enjoyed a barbecue spread. It was a great day to spend some time in the pines with the community and many CRECers walked away with some great swag.
At The Corps Network Annual Conference, Philan Tree, was honored along with five of her peers from around the County as Corpsmembers of the Year for 2011 for her work with Energy Conservation Corps. Philan received special recognition for all of her work with the Navajo Nation. Because of her efforts and assistance in CREC's collaborations with several Chapters within the Navajo Nation two Agreements were set up that allowed CREC to employ 17 Navajo Nation AmeriCorps members to work directly with their Chapters providing energy efficiency measures to the most needed homes in those underserved communities. After Philan presented her story to more than 250 conference attendees, CREC was inundated with requests from other states working with tribal nations to provide information on our program. We are excited about the possibilities and again we salute Philan for all of her efforts!
CREC would like to congratulate Philan Tree on her recent recognition as one of The Corps Network's Corpsmembers of the Year!
Philan was nominated by CREC for all her tireless efforts in developing, implementing and promoting CREC's Energy Conservation Corps on the Navajo Reservation. Philan was chosen from hundreds of applicants for this honor. As part of the celebration, she will be attending The Corps Network National Conference in Washington D.C. this coming February.
This is CREC's fourth time winning the Corpsmember of the Year award and first time as a back to back winner. (Tyler Rose was a 2010 winner.)
Congrats again Philan!