A new program to teach life skills and introduce natural resources to at-risk young people across Nebraska will begin in June, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
In the Nebraska Youth Conservation Program, youth ages 16-20 years will be selected to complete work on projects within the park and wildlife management areas. They will be provided with outdoor educational opportunities to enhance their experience.
The program, which will run from June 25 through Aug. 3, was created with the passage of LB 549 in 2011, identifying Game and Parks as the agency to administer the program. The bill was introduced by state Sen. Brenda Council of Omaha.
The program is partnering with the Nebraska Department of Labor to recruit participants and crew leaders. Those interested should apply at http://neworks.nebraska.gov. The application deadline is Friday, April 27. Participants and crew leaders will be employed by Game and Parks.
Eligible participants must be unemployed Nebraska residents and meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Be at risk of dropping out of school.
- Come from a low-income family.
- Must have been impacted directly by substance or physical abuse.
- Must have had negative contact with law enforcement.
There will be 16 crews across Nebraska, each having 10 youth and two crew leaders. There will be six crews from Omaha, two from Lincoln and one each from Norfolk, Grand Island, Lexington, McCook, North Platte, Valentine, Ogallala and Scottsbluff.
Each crew will have a facility maintenance leader teaching the youth the skills to complete the projects, as well as a counselor.
Work projects will include building picnic shelters, vault toilets and playgrounds. They also will work on campground electrical projects, shoreline restoration, fishing access, repairs to docks, painting, landscaping, fencing, trash removal, trail development and maintenance, and aquatic habitat.