Orcas Island Youth Conservation Corps (OIYCC)
In 2013, the Orcas Island Youth Conservation Corps (OIYCC), was successfully launched as a youth stewardship program modeled after the San Juan Island Conservation Corps and the Lopez Island Conservation Corps.
The Stewardship Network of the San Juans served as a partner in the establishment of this youth stewardship program too. Students aged 12-17 participate in OIYCC on a variety of projects that emphasize service on public lands, team building, environmental education, and care for the natural environment. OIYCC intends to build a program that teaches participants the value of community service along with the development of job skills. In addition to this valuable and fun summer experience, participants also receive compensation in the form of a stipend for the work.
In its first year of operation, we enlisted 14 enthusiastic students who provided a total of 713 hours of community service. In 2014, OIYCC expanded to 20 students with even more community service hours. Work ranges from trail building, to invasive species removal, to helping create a rain garden roof on the Village Green band shell.
OIYCC project partners include Moran State Park, the Bureau of Land Management, the San Juan Preservation Trust, the San Juan County Land Bank, Friends of the San Juans, the San Juan Islands Conservation District, and the Washington Trails Association. Funding comes from project partners, the Orcas Island Community Foundation, and other local organizations and individuals.