Polk County Conservation

Youth Corps FAQ

  • What type of projects can I expect to perform with PCCYC?

    • You will work on land management that may include invasive species removal, trail construction/maintenance, planting native seedlings, prairie seed harvesting, river cleanup, debris removal, park maintenance, and more.

    • Tools, materials, and protective safety gear will be provided.

  • What is the work schedule like?

    • Summer crews typically work 5 days/week, Monday – Friday

    • Crew Members work 8-3:30

    • Crew Leaders work 7:30-4

    • Approximate time breakdown: 75% completing projects and 25% education/recreation

    • Daily activities will include safety/stretching circles, breaks (a morning snack and 30 minute lunch), environmental education, and a debrief activity

    • All crew members are required to attend at least one overnight camping trip

    • Fall crews work afterschool or on Saturdays 3 days/week, no more than 3 hours per day.

  • Where do we do projects?

    • Most of our projects have supported parks managed by Polk County Conservation:

    Jester Park and Jester Park Equestrian Center

    Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt

    Fort Des Moines

    Easter Lake Park

    • Our crews have also completed projects for:

    Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

    Blank Park Zoo

    John R. Grubb YMCA

    Pottawattamie County Conservation Board’s Hitchcock Nature Center

    Harrison County Conservation Board’s Willow Lake Recreation Area 

  • Are all projects outside?

    Yes! You will spend nearly all of the program time outside completing environmental stewardship projects or trying outdoor recreation. Occasionally, time will be spent under covered shelters to complete conservation education activities. Crews are expected to be willing and able to work in variable weather conditions that may occur in Iowa. In the event of severe weather such as thunderstorms or tornados, crews will retreat to a safe environment.

  • Do I need special gear to participate?

    Corpsmembers are required to acquire sturdy work pants, structured shoes or boots, and warm layers as needed. PCCYC provides corpsmembers with PCCYC shirts, work gloves, safety glasses, hard hats, earplugs, water bottles, and day packs.

  • What skills do I need?

    • Crew members need to be willing to work hard, contribute positively to a team, and be open to learning. We encourage interested teenagers ages 15-18 to apply.

    • Crew leaders need to have knowledge of environmental stewardship/education and past experiences leading groups.

  • Do I need transportation?

    • Crew members are responsible for getting themselves to their assigned meeting site each day. In 2019, pick up and drop off sites will be chosen after reviewing where the majority of participants are located. Our meeting places are typically along bus routes and in the past have included places like the John R. Grubb YMCA.  

    • From the daily meeting site, PCCYC vans will transport you to project sites before returning to the meeting site at the end of the day.

  • Will my crew be camping?

    Each crew is expected to camp at least once during their session. Camping gear is provided by PCCYC but some personal gear is also welcome.

  • What kind of supervision is provided?

    Each crew consists of 2 crew leaders (ages 19+) and approximately 10 crew members. Crew Leaders are responsible for providing daily supervision to ensure projects are completed and all youth are engaged. The Youth Corps Coordinator provides active oversight of all crews.

  • How is PCCYC funded?

    An allocation from Polk County’s General Fund allowed us to get started, and funding from grants, partnerships, and donations will allow us to grow.

  • More questions?

    Reach out to our Youth Corps Coordinator:
    Janna Coulter | Janna.Coulter@polkcountyiowa.gov

  • Contact Us

    Administration Office
    12130 NW 128th St
    Granger, IA 50109

    P: (515) 323-5300
    F: (515) 323-5354

    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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