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National Park Service 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Civilian Climate Corps Program - National Youth Cooperative Agreements




September 27, 2023



September 30, 2028





Award Floor:



Match Required?





Entity Types:

State governments, County governments, City or township governments, Special district governments, Public & State controlled institutions of higher education, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), Nonprofits (with 501(c)(3) status), Private institutions of higher education

NPS is authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with any entity type (e.g., states, subdivisions of states, territories, Indian tribes, public or private nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education) qualified as youth or conservation corps to perform appropriate conservation projects, as defined in Section A, Applicant Organization Requirements, Program Quality Assurance. Non-profit applicants must be Section 501(c)(3) compliant. Non-Profit Organizations Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code exempts payment of federal income taxes for charitable, religious, scientific, literary and educational organizations. It is the most commonly used section in the IRS code granting tax exemption. Unless a non-profit corporation files a 501(c)(3) application with the IRS, it will not be exempt from paying federal income taxes. For-profit entities are not eligible to apply.




Source Type:


The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps and Civilian Climate Corps ProgramsOverview: NPS Youth and Veteran Development Programs represent the future of the NPS and encompasses a full range of 21CSC/CCC oriented developmental programs and projects conducted in and around national park units, NPS support offices, as well as in local communities and with partner organizations. NPS Youth Development Programs are committed to evolving and advancing vibrant and relevant youth and young adult programming that emphasize the mission of the NPS. NPS Youth Development Programs are designed to provide employment, education, experiential learning, and public service opportunities to U.S. citizens and legal residents who are between the ages of 16 and 30, and veterans up to 35 years of age.The 21CSC/CCC is a collaborative effort between federal government agencies and non-profit service organizations to put Americas youth and veterans to work protecting, restoring and enhancing Americas great outdoors. Through the 21CSC/CCC, young people and veterans will accomplish meaningful work, and gain important personal and professional skills while building a lifelong connection to the outdoors. The 21CSC/CCC strives to achieve the following public purpose goals and objectives:1) Put Americans to Work: The 21CSC/CCC will provide service, training, education and employment opportunities for thousands of young Americans and veterans, including low income and disadvantaged youth.2) Preserve, Protect, and Promote America's Greatest Gifts: The 21CSC/CCC will protect, restore, and enhance public and tribal lands and waters as well as natural, cultural, and historical resources and treasures. By producing high-quality, cost-effective project work from the 21CSC/CCC will also increase public access and use while spurring economic development and outdoor recreation.3) Build America's Future: Through service to the United States of America, the 21CSC/CCC will help develop a generation of skilled workers, educated and active citizens, future leaders, and stewards of natural and cultural resources, communities, and the nation.4) Provide a Living Wage: A reasonable living wage which is at the minimum equivalent to the minimum wage for the area. A continuum of benefits to support a corps members whole person can include compensation, housing, and other benefits.5) Provide a Pathway to Employment: Build a pipeline of talent and skilled labor of individuals inspired to enter public service or set them up for good-paying careers through intentional labor partnerships, pre-apprenticeship programs, and more.6) Represent America: Corps members should reflect the rich diversity of America, including hiring people from underserved communities, individuals with disabilities, Native Tribes, returning veterans, and unskilled young adults seeking vocational, internship, and educational opportunities.7) Tackle Climate Change: Tackle climate change from all angles by expanding the scope of climate solutions projects eligible for federal government support.8) Appropriate conservation projects and other appropriate projects to be carried out on federal, state, local, or private land as part of a federal disaster prevention or relief effort.Purpose: The NPS Youth Development Programs Division seeks to develop collaborative partnerships with non-profit youth-serving organizations who have the expertise to develop and administrator 21CSC programs that focus on providing employment, education, and engagement opportunities for U.S. citizens and legal residents in NPS units and affiliated sites such as National Register of Historic Places, National Heritage Areas, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Historic Landmarks, National Trails, and adjacent gateway communities. The primary purpose of the funds is for the benefit of the interns participating in the program.Participant Requirements: U.S. citizens and legal residents between the ages of 16 and 30 years of age, and veterans up to 35 years of age.Types of Projects: Natural and cultural resource conservation projects that are developed in collaboration with NPS officials with an emphasis on public purpose for the benefit of the American public, as well as, for providing employment and educational opportunities to young people and veterans. These projects will provide the participants with job skills training, education, and/or professional development. The employment focused projects are organized in either: 1) a crew-based format where the participants work collectively and intensely together and are directly supervised by trained and experienced crew leaders or conservation professionals; or 2) a individual or small team-based format where participants work individually or in coordinated teams under the direction of conservation professionals on initiatives that require specific skills and dedicated attention. The work projects include significant outdoor activity and/or helps young people and veterans connect with Americas Great Outdoors. Some projects may include work primarily indoors (i.e., research, policy, web development, visitor services, or administration) but also has a clear and direct connection to natural and cultural resource conservation.Project Examples:Climate change mitigation and resilienceCyclic maintenanceDevelopment of educational resource materials for visitorsEcosystem restorationEnhancing recreational opportunitiesField-based service such as trail building/restoration, removing invasive species and habitat restoration.GIS and mapping resourcesInterpretation of natural and cultural resourcesMuseum curationPreserving historic structuresProtecting of wildlife and preserving lands and structuresResearch such as scientific, historic, archival, archaeological digs, oral histories, historic preservation, and habitat surveys etc.Restoration and rehabilitation of facilitiesSupport management of natural and cultural resources such as developing and implementing resource stewardship plans, developing educational and informational materials for park visitorsTechnologically based natural and cultural resource educational programs and communication outreachVisitor educationEducation Projects: The National Park Service is committed to providing educational opportunities to 21CSC qualified individuals that help them to learn about American values, civic engagement, and citizenship stewardship. These projects utilize various educational techniques to convey and teach the NPS mission of natural and resource conservation.Education Project Examples:Projects that target 21CSC qualified participants and provide place-based learning opportunities with a focus on natural and/or cultural resource stewardship.Seminars that provide training opportunities for 21CSC qualified participants that promote natural and cultural resource stewardship and gateway community collaboration.Applicant Organizational RequirementsThe applicant organization should be able to clearly demonstrate their ability to design natural and cultural resource conservation projects that accomplish needed and important work on public lands while at the same time providing their 21CSC participants with educational, technical, life, and leadership skills. Each participant should develop a sense of community and purpose from their work on these projects. NPS may give preference to qualified youth or conservation corps organizations (see definition below) located in a specific area that have a substantial portion of members who are economically, physically, or educationally disadvantaged to carry out projects within the area. Park asset acquisition or personal services are not allowable.Public Land Corps Law DefinitionQualified Youth or Conservation Corps means any program established and administered by a State or local government, by the governing body of any Indian tribe, or a nonprofit organization that: 1) Carries out appropriate conservation projects on or related to eligible service land; 2) Is capable of offering meaningful, full-time, productive work for individuals between the ages of 16 and 30, inclusive, or veterans age 35 or younger, in a natural or cultural resource setting; 3) Engages participants in a variety of work experience, basic and life skills, education, training, and support services; 4) Provides participants with the opportunity to develop citizenship values and skills through service to their community and the United States; and 5) Provides the individual with a living allowance, stipend, or wages.

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