By Ashley Hollis, Brooke Widmar, and Cassandra Barker
The Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) is a multi-year youth education program for high school juniors and seniors and college students. The goal is to engage youth in sustaining the conservation of our natural resources, and to develop the next generation of conservation leaders.
Since 2002 we have worked with almost 400 students through the program. We want YOU to apply for CLC this year! Why? Here’s 15 reasons, for 15 years:
Learn More: Developing Conservation Leaders and Advocates of Tomorrow
The Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) has long been a catalyst for engaging citizens in conserving Missouri’s natural resources. With the growth of urban areas and increased population, it is essential that the strong conservation heritage of Missourians be passed on from generation to generation.
To achieve this goal, the CFM sponsors a special multi-year program. The Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) offers high school and college students a unique opportunity to influence conservation policy and actions.
The CLC promotes leadership for the next generation by engaging students in the politics of conservation. Students develop personal conservation leadership skills that requires teamwork with their peers during the resolution writing process. They are accepted as full voting members at the Annual Meeting and are invited to participate in committee discussions. The issue resolutions they research and develop in teams are submitted to the Federation’s voting membership. If approved, they carry the same weight as any other CFM policy resolution and become part of the basis for the Federation’s political activity throughout the year.
The program also allows students the opportunity to meet and interact with resource professionals from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Department of Natural Resources and other conservation organizations statewide. Students are encouraged to engage and volunteer in at least two of numerous conservation activities offered throughout the year with other CLC students. Volunteer opportunities include CFM Explore the Outdoors Regional events, Pull for Conservation, Prairie Fork Work Days, Stream team clean-ups, or affiliate events.
The goal of the program is that no matter where their chosen careers lead them, e.g., lawyer, doctor, accountant, engineer, journalist, forester, wildlife biologist, etc., the CLC participants are prepared to personally influence policy and actions that will contribute to the conservation of Missouri’s natural resources.
The program is highly regarded by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and other conservation organizations and is beneficial for internship and job opportunities.
To apply for the CLC program students must have demonstrated achievement in organized conservation activities through school projects, environmental clubs, 4-H, FFA, Quail Academy, Conservation Honors, Environthon, Stream Team, Scouting, etc. Students are eligible for CLC from the time they become high school juniors until they receive their undergraduate college degrees.
Student Conservation Achievement Award -Applications due by January 31st
Students who have completed at least two years as a member of the Conservation Federation of Missouri’s (CFM) Conservation Leadership Corps AND who have attended at least 4 CLC events are eligible for a Student Conservation Achievement (SCA) Award. Students must also be able to show evidence of volunteer hours/experience during their time with the CLC. Awards are presented at the CFM annual meeting. Student must be in good standing within the program. Application for the award indicates that this will be the students last year in the program even if the student is not graduating.