Conservation Corps Overview
WisCorps, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) conservation corps headquartered in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Our mission: To develop leadership, self-confidence, and a strong work ethic in youth and young adults through the active stewardship of Wisconsin’s communities and natural resources.
What is a conservation corps?
A conservation corps (pronounced like the "core" of the earth) is an organization or program that engages youth and young adults in service projects mainly focused on conserving our natural resources, building and maintaining access to nature, and helping our communities through targeted service projects. Members of the conservation corps usually work on a crew for a term of service from eight to ten weeks in length.
What is a conservation FIELD crew?
A conservation FIELD crew is a group of five to eight individuals who work together to complete conservation projects. Field crews spend the entire duration of their term (8 to 10 weeks) living, working and traveling together with their crew. Service takes place Monday through Friday, weekends are “OFF”, but our field crews stay together participating in recreational opportunities, or other outdoor fun. At WisCorps, each crew has two crew leaders (one crew leader and one assistant crew leader) who mentor and lead three to five crew members. Crew leaders and members go through training and orientation before starting their projects in different locations across the upper Midwest. WisCorps Field Crews include:
Wetland Restoration Crew
What is a conservation LOCAL crew?
A conservation LOCAL crew is a group of six individuals who live at home, and serve on projects within the greater La Crosse area Monday through Thursday with Friday focused on education. Local Crew Members make a positive impact in La Crosse public lands, community spaces, and neighborhoods through a diverse set of projects. These projects focus on caring for the environment, helping community members, and assisting local non-profit organizations. Local Crew Leaders and Members go through training and orientation with our field crews before starting their La Crosse local projects.
Local Crew Leaders & Members must have transportation to WisCorps' Myrick Park Center in the morning and transportation home from WisCorps at the end of each day.
Hire a Crew
WisCorps can provide crew services to municipalities, agencies, tribes, and non-profit organizations in need of short term labor solutions that are flexible enough to fit into tight operating budgets. Each WisCorps crew is fully trained and equipped to take on a variety of conservation projects such as, but not limited to: new trail construction, trail restoration, stream bank stabilization, reforestation, and invasive species management.
What is an Individual Placement?
Our Individual Placement Program provides young conservation professionals with focused, hands-on opportunities to serve alongside and under the guidance of our agency mentors. The Program provides our corpsmembers with a link between the academic and professional space. WisCorps placement sites allow members to conserve and connect while they gain career-building skills.
The Individual Placement Program connects our partner organizations who need help with natural resource conservation, environmental education programs, or capacity building projects with young conservation professionals looking to break into the field and serve their communities through the AmeriCorps program.
Active individual placement sites include but are not limited to:
Hunger Task Force of La Crosse
Boy Scouts of America - Gateway Area Council
Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
Host an Individual Placement
To participate in this program, you must be a nonprofit, education or governmental organization based in Wisconsin focused on natural resource conservation or environmental education. WisCorps and the partner organization will work together to negotiate the terms of the Placement Agreement, including position length and start date. Together, WisCorps and the partner organization will write a Position Description that fits the needs of the organization and aligns with wisCorps' AmeriCorps grant requirements. We will actively recruit potential candidates that meets the qualifications specified within the Position Description and conduct interviews together.
WisCorps will execute all steps of the onboarding process once the AmeriCorps member is selected, including a Member Service Agreement, payroll tax information, background checks and enrollment in AmeriCorps. After orientation, the corpsmember will be sent to the placement site. The partner organizations will provide daily oversight, a manageable service-load, and tasks that align with the position description. WisCorps staff will provide periodic check-ins, approve timesheets, process living allowance/stipend checks and all AmeriCorps-related support.
If you would like to set up a meeting to go through the terms of the Program, please email Eric Robertson. Prospective partners will then be invited to submit a site partner application.