Conservation Corps testing water quality in Pike River tributaries

Donta Geter, left, Franni Tempest and Haley Avery work on a water sample from a Pike River tributary while working with the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps.

SOMERS — A van carrying a group of 20-somethings pulled over to the side of the road on Highway EA near hundreds of acres of farmland Thursday along one of several tributaries to the Pike River Watershed.

Wearing bright turquois T-shirts that indicate they’re members of the Great Lakes Civilian Conservation Corps, they filed out one by one, armed with maps, notebooks, testing reagents, thermometers and turbidity tubes.

The young adults who attend the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Platteville or are still in high school……..

Read entire article at Kenosha News by clicking Clicking Here.

Great Lakes CCC rehabs formerly blighted home

The formerly blighted, tax-foreclosed property at 3518 Kinzie Ave., Racine has been completely renovated by the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps.

RACINE — A local effort to train young adults to redevelop vacant, tax-foreclosed properties in Racine County has completed its first house in the City of Racine.

Through the assistance of Racine County, the City of Racine, the Racine Community Foundation and several other public agencies and private corporations, the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps (CCC) completed the construction and rehabbing of a formerly blighted, tax-foreclosed property at 3518 Kinzie Ave.

Read the entire article at The Journal Times.

Quarry Lake Park Island Project

This special and unique floating wetland island project was constructed to tackle algal blooms spreading in the lake that produce cyanobacteria. Because cyanobacteria produces a toxin that is harmful to humans and animals and detrimental to water quality, this project will have a major positive impact on the community and to the residents who want to go swimming, fishing, or rafting at the park. More research will be performed to complement this project.

Thanks to Dr. Stephen Lyon for his invention, and Ben Haas and the Racine County Parks crew for allowing Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps to be involved! And thanks to The Journal Times for the interview and photos. Click here to view the article.

Root River Watershed AmeriCorps Crew

The Great Lakes CCC is currently recruiting in-school and out-of-school young adults ages 17 to 24 to join its Root River Watershed AmeriCorps Crew dedicated to protect, restore and enhance the ecosystem of the Root River watershed.  Crew member activities may include water chemistry monitoring, biological sampling, aquatic and terrestrial restoration, invasive species removal, streambank stabilization, habitat maintenance, installation of stormwater bio-retention facilities and permeable structures, bio- and phytoremediation, trail brushing and construction, fish and wildlife surveys, larval fish trapping, removal of in-stream barriers to fish passage, electro-fishing, GPS mapping, reconnaissance and reporting of point source violations, flood mitigation, storm debris removal and response, and other activities that maintain lands and waterways reserved for the benefit, access and enjoyment of residents and visitors of the Root River watershed.  Great Lakes CCC currently operates an AmeriCorps crew that manages the green spaces and waterways in Ozaukee County; to view examples of similar work AmeriCorps Crew members may be performing in the Root River watershed, follow the link to the Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department Fish Passage Project.



Natural and man-made disasters are increasingly frequent phenomena capable of striking at any time, irrespective of local, regional or international borders.  Floods and tornadoes are not uncommon events in Racine County.  Great Lakes CCC believes every young adult has a role to play in response to disasters and emergencies in the community, and Crew members will also be called on to serve their community during times of crisis.  To be able to respond, members will receive multi-disciplinary training, certification and licensing in fields related to rescue, recovery and rebuilding.  Approximately 20% of a Crew member’s time will be assigned to the acquisition of national portable credentials that will include some or all of the following, depending on the term of the AmeriCorps position:

Rescue:  National Incident Management System (NIMS); CPR/First Aid; Bloodborne Pathogens; Certified Nursing Assistant; Chainsaw Certification; Utility Line Mechanic; Flagger; Class D Driver’s License; OSHA 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Operations; Commercial Driver’s License                                                        

Recovery:  Certified Renovator (Lead-based Paint); OSHA 16-Hour Asbestos Awareness; Heavy Equipment Operator; Integrated Pest Management; Wastewater Treatment Operator; Food Handling Certification; Water Sampling Technician; Forklift Certification; Certified Logistics Associate                                                

Rebuilding:  Transit Surveyor; OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety; Home Builders Institute Certification; Solar Installation; Energy Auditor; Geothermal Technician; Entry-Level Manufacturing Skills; Welder Certification; Project Management

By emphasizing training that prepares individuals to lead in disaster events with skills that will save lives, Great Lakes CCC is able to simultaneously (re-) engage young adults and equip them with a series of stackable middle-skill, nationally recognized occupational credentials to pursue multiple career paths in the environmental, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, energy, food production, transportation and distribution sectors.



For their service to the community, Root River Watershed AmeriCorps Crew members acquire work experience, receive professional skill development and national credentials, build a resume, gain self-confidence, and are awarded an education scholarship valued at $1,175 for use at any accredited college or university as a result of their 300-hour term.



AmeriCorps is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  Through the AmeriCorps program administered by Great Lakes CCC, members commit to part-time positions to perform direct service in their community during the daytime, after school, on weekends, or during regular class time with permission from their high school or college.  The program is often compared to the Peace Corps as its domestic counterpart.  To learn more about AmeriCorps, follow the link to



To apply for a Crew member position on the Root River Watershed AmeriCorps Crew, send an email to with a request to receive a copy of the electronic application contents.  In your email request, please provide your name, address–including city, state and zipcode–email address, and telephone number so we may follow up to answer questions you may have when completing the application.   All other questions regarding the Root River Watershed AmeriCorps Crew may also be submitted by email to