SJI Conservation Corps
The Madrona Institute operates the San Juan Island Conservation Corps (SJICC) as a youth stewardship program co-sponsored with the Stewardship Network of the San Juans and in partnership with San Juan Island National Historical Park. The SJICC has been firmly established after two successful summer youth crew programs. Students in grades 7-9 from Friday Harbor Middle School and Spring Street International School participate in summer work programs emphasizing field science/natural history, service learning, and leadership skills training especially related to becoming lifelong earth stewards. So far, over 31 students have contributed over 2,000 hours to the community and its public lands in beneficial restoration projects such as beach cleanup, enhancing Island Marble Butterfly habitat, and improving trails to access coveted island sites. SJICC project partners are San Juan Island National Historical Park, Bureau of Land Management, San Juan County Parks, Washington State Parks, San Juan County Land Bank, and the San Juan Preservation Trust.
Sarah Hanson serves as Program Manager of the SJICC, and the current program advisory/visioning team includes: Katie Fleming, Friends of the San Juans; Sharon Massey, Spring Street International School; Doug McCutchen, SJC Land Bank; Jerald Weaver and Raena Parsons, National Park Service; and Jenny Wilson, Friday Harbor Middle/High School. Major funding is being provided by the National Park Service, with additional financial support from the Bureau of Land Management. Local financial support is being provided by the San Juan Island Community Foundation, San Juan Island Prevention Coalition, San Juan Masonic Lodge No. 175, and the United Way of San Juan County.
Working closely with the Lopez Island Conservation Corps, the Madrona Institute launched the Orcas Youth Conservation Corps (OYCC) this summer on Orcas Island. With a three-island conservation corps partnership, the way is clear to providing a youth conservation program niche that will enable SJICC, OYCC, and LICC to partner with conservation corps statewide that cater to high school and college-aged students, as well as leave a legacy of youth impact in the conservation of our natural world.