Last summer the Youth Restoration Corps (YRC) in cooperation with the Young Marines brought some 80 young people from all over America to Alaska to undertake restoration projects on the Kenai Peninsula.
According to Kelly Wolf, YRC Executive Director, the Bringing the Nation to Alaska program was a great success, "It was great, or maybe fantastic is a better word for it. Most people looked at me when I said I wanted to bring kids from all over the country up to Alaska to learn about the environment and restoration like I was nuts. Today, because of the success of last summer, similar programs are developing in other areas of the country.
The operation caught the national attention of First Lady Laura Bush, and she sent personal letters to all the participants," Wolf told the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce recently. YRC will not be repeating the program this summer, however is planning other restoration projects on the Peninsula. "We have two programs we're going to do this year and are presently looking at 21 sites for designing and permitting from the Kenai River Center and the appropriate agencies," said Wolf.
Land managers that have evaluated past projects completed by the YRC has given a restoration success rate of between 75 and 80%. The 2002 program will start May 22nd right after school is out, and pays successful applicants $7.00 an hour to work and learn about habitat restoration. Kids interested in interviewing for this year's YRC can pick up applications from their school councilors.
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