A new program to teach life skills and introduce natural resources to young people across Nebraska will begin June 25, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

In the Nebraska Youth Conservation Program, people age 16-20 will complete work projects within state park areas and wildlife management areas. They will be provided with outdoor educational opportunities to enhance their experience.

There will be 16 crews across Nebraska, each having as many as 10 youth and two crew leaders. There will be six crews from Omaha, three from Lincoln and one each from Norfolk, Grand Island, Lexington, McCook, North Platte, Ogallala and Scottsbluff.

Each crew will have a facility maintenance leader teaching the youth the skills to complete the projects and one will be the counselor. The crews and leaders, which will be paid by Game and Parks, will meet in central locations in each community, and then be driven by van to work sites by the leaders. Outdoor education programs will take place on Thursdays.

Work projects will include such things as 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.

Projects consist of playground installation at Fremont Lakes, Louisville SRA, Branched Oak and Lake Ogallala state recreation areas (SRA); campground electrical work at Lake Minatare, Lake Ogallala, Two Rivers, Summit, Branched Oak and Swanson; picnic shelter construction at Johnson Lake and Pawnee; and walkway construction at Schramm Park. Other projects include dock repair, vehicle maintenance, landscaping, painting, building repair, among others.

The program, which will run 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.

Logo courtesy of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

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