Since mid-January, students from Schenck Job Corps Civilian Conser-vation Center have teamed up with the City of Brevard on the Bracken Mountain project.
Joining several other volunteers in the community, Schenck students have volunteered many weekends in an effort to pave the way for a no-table milestone for the City of Brevard and its residents. The trail will give everyone the opportunity to hike or bike from downtown Brevard to Pisgah National Forest.
Alternating between Saturdays and Sundays, Schenck students and other volunteers have devoted countless hours to this project, clearing the trails for future use. Up to this point, Schenck students have contributed 156 hours of volunteer labor for this project.
The planning for the Bracken Mountain property began back in 2007. The state and the city agreed on the terms of a conservation easement which stipulated that the property could be used for only passive recreation uses such as Hiking, mountain Biking, bird watching, etc. Once the master plan for the Bracken property was completed, it was added to the City Planning Department’s work plan until funding became available this year.
The trails will total about 6 miles in length and should be open this summer. The trail system will include a trail that will connect the city’s property with F.S. road 475C, eventually leading to the fish hatchery. Hiking and mountain Biking will be allowed, and hunters will be allowed to pass through the property to get to the game lands in Pisgah.
Daniel Cobb, a planner with the City of Brevard, has been pleased with Schenck’s participation in the project,
“Students from Schenck Job Corps have been present at each of our six volunteer workdays this year,” said Cobb. With the help of Schenck and other volunteers from the community, over 4.5 miles of trails have been cleared.
“Every workday someone comes up to me and tells me how much fun it is to work with Schenck students. I have been very impressed with everyone’s work ethic and positive attitudes. Schenck students are some of the most polite group of young folks I have ever worked with. I hope we can continue to have a group of them with us at each of our workdays. We wouldn’t be as far along as we are without their help.
The Schenck Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center is associated with the National Forests of North Carolina and currently serves 224 students. The USDA Forest Service operates 28 Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers across 18 states with a capacity of 6,200 students. Job Corps has provided opportunities to more than two million economically disadvantaged young Americans. This voluntary education and job training program offers career technical training, academic, and social skills training to students nationwide. For more information on Job Corps, visit http://jobcorps.gov, and for specific information on Schenck Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center, visit http://schenck. jobcorps.gov.
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.
(Allen is liaison specialist for Schenck.)