June 16, 2023 will mark the first annual National Service and Conservation Corps Day
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Vice Chair of the National Service Congressional Caucus and the first AmeriCorps alum to serve in the United States Senate, and Bill Cassidy (R-N.D.), Co-Chair of the National Service Congressional Caucus, announced that the U.S. Senate has passed a bipartisan resolution to designate June 16, 2023, as National Service and Conservation Corps Day. Cosponsors of the resolution include U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Co-Chair of the National Service Congressional Caucus, Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Vice Chair of the National Service Congressional Caucus, and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.).
“I served as an AmeriCorps member for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service early in my career. It reinforced the importance of working in service to our nation and the people and places that make our nation so special,” said Heinrich. “As Vice Chair of the National Service Congressional Caucus, I am proud to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure each new generation of Americans has their own opportunities to serve and leave their mark.”
“National service organizations create opportunity for Americans of different experiences and backgrounds to gain work experience and give back to their communities,” said Dr. Cassidy. “On National Service and Conservation Corps Day, we recognize and celebrate these organizations that help make our communities stronger, safer, and healthier for all.”
Last year, Heinrich helped to secure $1.3 billion for national and community service in Congress, which includes $557 million for AmeriCorps state and national grants, an increase of $90 million from fiscal year 2022. The increased support for AmeriCorps will help thousands of nonprofits, schools, and local governments meet the unique needs of local communities through community service.
The resolution has been endorsed by several service and conservation groups, including Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in New Mexico.
“Indigenous people are the original caretakers of the lands, water, and air on this continent, and Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps is proud to reconnect Indigenous young people to the lands that their ancestors stewarded and managed. ALCC is one of a handful of conservation corps programs across the country that centers Indigenous life ways and values and meets Indigenous young people where they are to engage them in national and local service. Our participants complete projects that protect sacred and significant sites, improve our environment and communities, and connect them to career pathways while recognizing and honoring the legacy their ancestors have passed down. ALCC supports Senator Heinrich’s resolution to recognize the thousands of conservation corps participants and more than 150 service and conservation corps programs across the country and call for the continued expansion of these opportunities to better serve our young people, communities, and environment,” said Chas Robles, Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps Director.
“Rocky Mountain Youth Corps applauds the commitment of Senator Heinrich to the Corps Movement. As the first AmeriCorps alumni in Congress, he has first hand knowledge in understanding the impact a Corps experience can have on a young person's life. RMYC is happy to have the support of the Senator as we continue to engage youth and young adults in strengthening our communities, tackling environmental restoration projects and training our next generation of change agents,” said Ben Thomas, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Youth Corps.
"I am grateful to the thousands of young adults and veterans serving in Corps programs every year. I am inspired by all that Corps do to empower young leaders, improve our public lands, and build more resilient communities. On behalf of the national Corps community, thank you to Senators Heinrich and Cassidy for celebrating and acknowledging Corps accomplishments through National Service and Conservation Corps Day," said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network. "This spring marked 90 years since the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Over the decades, Corps have helped shape our park systems and shape millions of young stewards. I appreciate the support of our partners on Capitol Hill as we look to the future and imagine how Corps and national service programs can continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of our country."
The full text of the resolution is available here.