CIRI and CIRI Alaska Tourism Corp. (CATC) sponsored a crew of Alaska Native youth to build a trail this summer on CIRI land surrounding CATC’s Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. The crew of six youth plus two crew leaders spent 21 days living outdoors while continuing work on a 1.2-mile segment of the network of trails surrounding the lodge. The lodge was built by another Student Conservation Association crew in 2011.
The trail-building project was part of the Student Conservation Association’s (SCA) National Conservation Crews. The nationwide summer program places groups of six to eight young people ages 15 to 19 in national parks, forests, cultural sites and urban greenspaces. Participants gain knowledge of restoration and land management, an increased awareness and respect for the environment, life skills and a positive work ethic. SCA sent about 3,000 youth out on trail crews this summer nationwide.
SCA’s programs also include internships for college students and community programs in more urban areas of the country. SCA has recently opened an office in Anchorage to better serve Alaskan youth. To learn more about SCA visit www.thesca.org.