Integrating Site Design into Conservation Corps Minnesota Projects
Conservation Corps Minnesota is a nonprofit that provides outdoor service-learning, job-training and personal development opportunities for young people, ages 15 to 25. The Center for Changing Landscapes (CLL), College of Design is working in partnership with the Corps to incorporate more design-build projects in Summer Youth Corps service. In 2011, a youth crew participated in a Blandin Foundation project to improve public access and enjoyment of a county park in the Upper Minnesota River Valley by landscaping and improving trails and building park benches, a canoe landing and a picnic shelter, designed by CCL. Elissa Brown, a Master of Landscape Architecture graduate student in the College of Design, will evaluate the effectiveness of youth carrying out design-build plans, their skill levels, and resources needed to build more projects designed by CCL. The results will be used to inform future budgets, staffing and resources needed for Conservation Corps design-build projects.