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Kathleen Emard completes Conservation Corps service

Kathleen Emard of Osakis recently completed a 10-month service term with Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa, a nonprofit that engages young people in hands-on service managing natural resources and responding to disasters.

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From February through December, 135 young adults worked outside in all seasons improving recreational trails, fighting wildfires, conducting prescribed burns, removing invasive species, planting trees and conducting other conservation projects to restore native habitat throughout the Midwest.

Emard served as a crew member on a crew with four other AmeriCorps members in St. Paul.

During the 2013 service term, AmeriCorps members conducted prescribed burns to restore 24,520 acres of prairie; planted 135,430 native trees and plants; suppressed 30,095 acres of wildfire; removed more than 11,150 acres of invasive species and constructed or improved more than 700 miles of trail.

Habitat restoration projects are completed on public lands in partnership with city governments, county conservation boards, state and federal agencies and other nonprofit organizations.

The corps is currently hiring for the 2014 program year. Conservation Corps crews of five to six members are based in 16 locations throughout Minnesota, completing projects on public lands throughout the state.

Participants, ages 18-25, are enrolled in AmeriCorps and receive a living stipend and an education award for college or student loan expenses. Beside marketable job skills, corps members receive professional certifications in wildfire suppression, chainsaw operation and first aid.

Interested applicants should apply online at or contact recruitment coordinator Mark van der Linden at (651) 209-9900, extension 31.