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Corpsmembers with Mile High Youth Corps share why they #ServeOutdoors

Every year, Service and Conservation Corps across the country engage young adults and recent veterans in maintaining some of America’s most treasured natural and cultural resources. From restoring or building new backcountry trails, to planting trees and gardens in urban areas, Corpsmembers complete important projects to help make the outdoors accessible and sustainable. To celebrate Great Outdoors Month, we’re highlighting some of the many ways Corpsmembers #ServeOutdoors.

Below, Corpsmembers with Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC) in Denver, CO, share the many ways they #ServeOutdoors, as well as their plans for after their AmeriCorps term. For even more ways Corpsmembers #ServeOutdoors, check out The Many Ways AmeriCorps Members #ServeOutdoors on the CNCS website and Why Corpsmembers choose to #ServeOutdoors on The Corps Network website.

Savanna Nicoll, 22, joined the MHYC to gain job experience and because she liked being in the Great Outdoors. During her service, Savanna helped restore a trail that had been closed due to wildfire damage in Black Forest, CO. Her AmeriCorps experience has helped her on her journey to become a search and rescue paramedic.

“You learn you are capable of much more than you thought. You learn work ethic and how to work as a team. You help your community and your health by being in nature.”


Concerned about the decline in our natural resources, 19-year-old Ellen Wermuth decided to get involved in conservation work. One project she served doing fire mitigation at Music Meadows Ranch by removing overcrowded ponderosas trees. After her AmeriCorps experience, she plans to work towards becoming an arborist so she can help support healthy tree populations.

“It gives you so much instant gratification knowing that the work we do is prolonging the health of our beautiful planet. Everyone needs to do their part and when you can work with a team of people you can accomplish so much more.”


Jacob Rodgers, 24, moved from Hawaii to Colorado to join Mile High Youth Corps. He wanted to help make the environment clean and safe for everyone to enjoy. During his service, Jacob has helped protect the greenback cutthroat trout by making improvements to Bear Creek in central Colorado. Jacob hopes to travel to see even more of the Great Outdoors.

“Jacob thinks others should volunteer in the Great Outdoors so “they have a greater respect for the work done and they don’t disrespect the outdoors by destroying habitats.”


Alexandra Elick, 20, joined the Corps to give back to the community, protect the environment, and gain job skills. While serving with AmeriCorps she did trail maintenance on Island in the Sky near Cañon City, CO. Alexandra thinks others should volunteer in the Great Outdoors to protect and conserve nature’s beauty for future generations to enjoy. When her time with Mile High Youth Corps ends, she will continue working towards a college degree and future employment with the National Park Service.


Jackson Davis, 23, decided to join the Corps to gain experience in the conservation field and meet new people. He served on Bureau of Land Management property in Cañon City, CO, to preserve trails and remove fencing for ecological management. After his AmeriCorps experience, Jackson wants to continue in ecological work by getting a PhD and one day managing large tracts of public land.

“A greater emphasis on understanding and preserving ecology within the general public is crucial to future preservation attempts…[we also need to] spread knowledge of legislation regarding public lands and the proliferation of ecological management plans.”