Where We Started
Fittingly, the idea for Conservation Corps North Bay took root on a running trail in the Marin Headlands back in 1981. Richard Hammond was taking his daily run and noticed the trails were in disrepair. He began formulating a summer project for his teenage sons and their friends.
His hope was that this small project would instill in his boys a sense of personal responsibility for maintaining Marin’s abundant natural resources and perhaps prepare them for careers in community service.
After the success of his summer project and spurred by the floods in 1982, Hammond enlisted the aid of forward thinking community leaders to create a program designed to engage and empower youth by teaching them to cultivate and preserve the environment.
From these humble beginnings, the country’s first local non-profit conservation corps was born.
Where We Are Today
Conservation Corps North Bay is a 37-year-old organization with one simple goal: to engage and empower our youth by teaching them to cultivate and preserve the environment.
We are lucky to be surrounded by nature. You probably spend a fair amount of time in it, or admiring it. What you probably don’t spend a lot of time doing is wondering why it is so accessible, so safe, so well-maintained. Well, a lot of that is due to CCNB.
Every year, our youth corps maintains miles of trails, restores acres of habitat, plants thousands of native trees and shrubs, and collects hundreds of thousands of pounds of recycling.
Just as importantly, given the unpredictable natural events that Northern California is experiencing, we need to take preventative measures to prepare for disasters. So we work to prevent floods. Control erosion. Reduce fire hazards. And more.
The impact we have on the environment is significant and visible. But that’s not all…
We’re making an extraordinary impact on the youth of the North Bay.
Most of the youth that comprise our corps enter the program with no high school diploma. Some have been incarcerated. Almost all are from extremely low-income households. Their futures don’t look hopeful.
Joining CCNB gives them the opportunity to:
- Complete high school via an onsite charter school.
- Access counseling, career guidance, and other self-management skills.
- Earn scholarships.
- Work on critical local environmental projects, learning about conservation, ecology, and connectivity.
- Learn real, certified skills that they can take to the workplace.
- Receive a paycheck.
The environment. Our youth. Both vulnerable, both requiring nurture.
We believe in the untapped potential of both. And we’re committed to preparing, cultivating and nurturing each so they can flourish, and our community can enjoy a successful, healthy future.