YCC April 9 meeting: more grants, more youth organizational partners!

Updated: Apr 30

Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) Team Meeting

Friday April 9, 2021 10:00-11:40 a.m.


Present: Jim Geenen, chair; Brannen Basham, Steve Wall, Eric Romaniszyn, Mary Jane Curry. Matthew Blackburn is on vacation with family.


1. Grants: In addition to those mentioned below, HWA has secured a grant of $5000 for YCC groups to plant native rivercane. Rivercane is the material used by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) to make their beautiful traditional baskets.


2. Haywood Community College (HCC) is supporting the Horticultural Program in partnership with First United Methodist Church (FUMC) youth director Matthew Blackburn has indicted that FUMC youth are ready to begin some planting and related activities on campus. Eric, Brannan, Jim to meet with HCC horticulturalist soon.


3. Summer intern funding update: Haywood Waterways Association (HWA) has a NASA grant to pay for part of an intern salary. Decisions about HWA interns to be decided at its May board meeting. Western Carolina University (WCU) might be able to help fund the first month of a WCU Intern’s salary.


3. Hiking trail repairs: YCC is partnering with the Carolina Mountain Club. The Club welcomes YCC older teens to help with trail repair and related work. As with all our affiliated organizations and the YCC itself, the Club practices all the 3Ws and other safety measures. Jim going out a second time with the Club for Parkway trail work. Teach environmental and climate issues.


4. Grace Episcopal Church in the Mountains proposed rain garden updates: Mitigation of precipitation runoff has become crucial because of the excessive rain caused by the climate crisis. Runoff goes into Richland Creek. Two projects are being considered. Both will serve as models for the entire community and beyond.

The county and regional Soil and Water Conservation scientists found that the front area in front of the chapel is already perfect for a rain garden.

For the back area below parking, a rain garden not an option because of the steepness of the bank, but other precipitation structures are. All potential fixes entail planting native vegetation. Engineer likes it and The Grace Vestry Committee is meeting to discuss these projects; we are hopeful they will put in for a $25,000 grant via the state CCAP program. Grantees will announced November of this year.


5. Outdoor Mission:. HCC is submitting a small grant for Lake Fontana and/or another lake clean up near there. Steve: For many years Outdoor Mission has done camping, nature education with kids from around the nation and world. It is a natural partner with the YCC. Together we are planning an August cleanup of junk and other pollutants flowing into Waterville


Susan Roberts, Biology Prof at HCC Early College, has two fall classes of 14-year- olds, who will be learning via HCC about the effects of our changing climate on western North Carolina and our state.


6. HEIGHT's Partnership, Jackson County. Also collaborate with FUMC and HWA. They’d like to work with us. They already are keeping bees at the research station and conduct gardening, and trail repair activities. Most important is exposing the kids to healthy outdoor activities. Director and counselor Marcus Metcalf.


7. Duane VanHook, Department Director, Haywood County Soil and Water Conservation District, has agreed to lend expertise for the WNC CAC/YCC’s development of a sustainable agriculture team. Are asking sustainable farmers to join our meeting.


8. Mobile kitchen possibility with a Jackson County NGO called the Uncomplicated Kitchen. Jeanna Krauze is the director. Concept: Teach YCC volunteers to prepare healthy alternatives to pizza during our activities could be the objective as well as discussions ongoing of “food waste prevention.”



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