A big part of the Conservation Corp training is to be able to develop work skills in a team setting, serve and build your community, and something else essential for teens to do….to have fun. This second week, half of the crews were taken on a canoeing trip on the Huron River, and the other half to a low ropes team building course at STEPS. There was also a canoeing trip to Kensington Park as an environmental educational experience, or EE days, that take place every Friday during the program. These days are a welcomed break from the hard work and heat, especially for those crews doing tree watering for the first two weeks. Other examples of EE days so far have been a trip to the U of M Dearborn Environmental Interpretive Center, the Detroit Water and Sewage Treatment Plant, and the WARM Reclaimed Materials Training Center.
This week I was able to spend some time with Crew Crew who is working on Singing Tree Farm. They are working on some farm restructuring and beautification. So far they have cleared a majority of the land of overgrown weeds and established a sitting area. They are now laying down mulch and will start painting a mural on a truck trailer to add to the beauty of the grounds. Part of the CLC program is to engage the members in education and awareness about our environment. An activity they used to showcase their thought was a littering poetry slam.
I also hung out with Tree Sticks Mafia on their EE day where we were able to reflect upon using bicycles to get around instead of a car. We had ZERO fun riding bikes to Belle Isle….We started at the Wheelhouse to rent our rides on the RiverWalk and made the journey along the river and across the bridge to the Isle.
Half of our crew members were able to attend a discussion/seminar about the state of education in Michigan public schools. They were presented with some issues, and more importantly possible solutions and asked their opinions on these subjects. Some of the topics included over-sized classrooms, additional funding for pre-k programs, and supporting our teachers with the tools needed in our times of advancing technologies. Their answers were recorded and will be included in a 6,000 person report handed to legislation in Lansing by the Center of Education for Michigan. Speaking of government, we’re also making it available for our workers to register to vote next week if they are going to be of age. We hope to continue to foster awareness in our teens of the issues around them and remind them they can make an impact as great as anyone.
Our story telling was dominated by crew 7, SupaCrew who graced us with a song at the end of their story.
A returning crew member from last year’s program, Gerald, gave me his mission for Detroit the first day of work. I wish this could be posted to every blog or story about Detroit, we know there are many, to show the drive that lies in it’s citizens to let the city shine.