The Corps Network Thanks REI Foundation for $1 million investment in 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

Montana Conservation Corps

In celebration of National Park Service Centennial, funding will support projects at 19 national parks. Investment matches largest ever donation to 21CSC.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Corps Network applauds the REI Foundation’s historic $1 million investment in the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC). Announced earlier this week, the funding will support youth engagement in stewardship projects at 19 national parks.

This most recent investment from REI is part of the co-op’s multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership with the National Park Foundation. The focus of this partnership is to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial through investments in enhancing park experiences and expanding access to parks.

Specifically, the 21CSC projects funded by the REI Foundation’s investment will engage young people from communities that have not traditionally partaken in the use or stewardship of America’s iconic public lands. This includes high school and college students from underserved neighborhoods, inner-city youth and minority youth.

Among the official 21CSC programs that will benefit from these new funds are several Service and Conservation Corps and Affiliate Members of The Corps Network, including Environment for the Americas, Greening Youth Foundation, Montana Conservation Corps, Rocky Mountain Conservancy and The Student Conservation Association. NPS sites that will benefit from the service of young people in these programs include, among others, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Rock Creek National Park.

“We are grateful to the REI Foundation for this generous investment in the next generation of public lands stewards and outdoor enthusiasts,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, CEO of The Corps Network and Co-Chair of the Partnership for the 21CSC. “By providing the opportunity to engage in meaningful work and service in parks, Conservation Corps connect young people to the outdoors like nothing else. Participants in 21CSC programs build a sense of ownership of America’s natural spaces. We deeply appreciate that the REI Foundation acknowledges and supports the power of these programs; investing in youth is an ideal way to celebrate the next 100 years of the National Park Service.”

“A huge thank you to the REI Foundation for believing in the importance of engaging today’s young people in completing meaningful projects that benefit our National Parks,” added Harry Bruell, CEO of Conservation Legacy and Co-Chair of the Partnership for the 21CSC.  “The 21CSC is a public private partnership that harnesses the power, ingenuity and energy of today’s young people to steward America’s great outdoors. We appreciate the REI Foundation recognizing and supporting young people to make a difference that benefits all of us.”

The REI Foundation’s investment matches the largest ever donation to the 21CSC, made by American Eagle Outfitters in 2014.

About the 21CSC

The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) is a national initiative to increase the engagement of youth and veterans in the restoration, enhancement and preservation of America’s public lands. The goal of the 21CSC is to increase civilian national service positions on public lands and encourage federal land and water management agencies to use conservation corps to meet their missions.

About The Corps Network

The Corps Network provides leadership and support to over 130 of America’s Service and Conservation Corps. Through advocacy, access to funding opportunities and expert guidance, The Corps Network annually enables over 24,000 Corpsmembers, ages 16-25, to strengthen communities, improve the environment and transform their lives through service.

To learn more about The Corps Network, please visit

Media Contact:

Hannah Traverse
The Corps Network
1275 K Street, NW – Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.737.6272
Email: [email protected]