Southeast Youth Corps Becomes Members Of The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior on Thursday announced that Chattanooga's Southeast Youth Corps is one of 91 initial organizations nationwide that have been approved as member organizations to help implement the Obama Administration’s 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. The 21CSC is a national collaborative effort to put America’s youth and veterans aged 15 to 35 to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s natural and cultural resources.

“We are thrilled that SYC has been selected for membership to the 21CSC, and look forward to growing our capacity to engage local youth and young adults in conservation service,” said Program Director Brenna Kelly.

SYC was established in Chattanooga in 2012 as a way to provide local young women and men with structured, safe, and challenging service and educational opportunities through projects that promote personal growth, the development of social skills, and an ethic of natural resource stewardship. SYC operates a variety of corps programs that engage local youth and young adults aged 16 to 25 years old.  In 2014, SYC plans to expand its summer Youth Conservation Corps program, which employs 16 to 18 year olds from the Chattanooga area, and begin introducing AmeriCorps crews of adults aged 18-25 to address a variety of conservation needs both locally and regionally. This past summer the YCC provided summer employment to eight teenagers from surrounding high schools to work in the Cherokee National Forest maintaining hiking trails while camping and living in wilderness areas.

All 21CSC participants gain skills, and deliver results that include enhancing recreational opportunities and access, protecting wildlife, restoring impaired watersheds, removing invasive species, increasing energy efficiency, preserving historic or cultural sites, enhancing community spaces, coordinating volunteers, supporting monitoring or data needs, responding to natural disasters, reducing hazardous fuels and protecting communities from wildfire.

Increasing diversity and expanding opportunities for all youth and veterans are core 21CSC principles: all 21CSC member organizations emphasize diversity and inclusion, and the 21CSC National Council will focus in the coming months on recruiting additional member organizations, targeting new programs in diverse areas, and investing in training and career pathways for a diverse group of participants.

The 21CSC is supported by the federal 21CSC National Council, which includes members from USDA, DOI, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA, the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Council on Environmental Quality, and by the Partnership for the 21CSC, which was launched in June of 2013 as a collaborative group to support the 21CSC.

The mission of SYC is to train and educate the youth of Chattanooga, while conserving and protecting the natural environment.  For information on their programs and projects, contact them at 423 664-2344 or visit its website at

Tellico Hatchery Announces Winter Hours

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency announced winter hours for the Tellico Hatchery in Tellico Plains. Holidays along with hours of daylight and alterations in operations are the primary reasons for changes. Fish eat less during colder months. This reason, along with a reduction of seasonal responsibilities such as mowing grass and hatchery upkeep, means fewer people on staff. ... (click for more)

Wildlife Officer Pete Geesling Honored In Veterans Day Observance Ceremony

Brandon “Pete” Geesling, a wildlife officer for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in Warren County, was one of five veteran state employees recognized during a Veterans Day observance event held at the Tennessee Tower Plaza.     Previously, Mr. Geesling served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a combat engineer which included a deployment ... (click for more)

Christina Strickland, 35, Shot On Thursday

Christina Strickland, 35, was shot on Thursday.  Chattanooga Police were informed that a shooting victim had arrived by personal vehicle at a local hospital. A Violent Crimes investigator responded and interviewed her. She  suffered a single non-life threatening injury to the ankle. She  was unable to provide any information about her location when she was injured ... (click for more)

Family Escapes Early Morning House Fire

A home was damaged by fire early Thursday morning.  The Chattanooga Fire Department received a fire call at  3:48  a.m.  and responded to 1825 Dixon Street with four fire companies. The family inside the home was awakened by a passerby knocking at the door. All of them quickly made their way outside the home to safety.  Once firefighters ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)