Vito Di Stefano 5-18-23-32

URBAN CORPS RECEIVES YOUTH COMMUNITY ACCESS PROGRAM GRANT FROM CALIFORNIA NATURAL RESOURCE AGENCY

More than $280,000 to provide Corpsmembers with an opportunity to enjoy California’s cultural and natural resources

Urban Corps of San Diego County was awarded $280,680,000 from the California Natural Resource Agency as a part of its Youth Community Access program. The funding will be used to provide 300 Corpsmembers with monthly trips to enjoy cultural and natural resources throughout San Diego County. It is part of the Outdoors for All Initiative that Governor Newsom and the State Legislature introduced in 2021 to expand access to California state parks and other state facilities to encourage more people to go outdoors.  Urban Corps is one of five San Diego County organizations to receive the funding.

“Although our Corpsmembers receive job training outside planting trees, clearing brush and restoring trails, most have never had the opportunity to go camping or experience many of the awesome cultural and recreational locations that San Diego County has to offer,” said Kyle Kennedy, CEO, Urban Corps of San Diego County. “With this funding, our Corpsmembers will be able to have new experiences and a better understanding of the environment. I think this will help them appreciate the training that they receive in the Corps even more.”

Some of the activities that the grant will fund are kayaking, bird watching, hiking, camping and bike riding, which will be the first time for many Corpsmembers. The funding will also support the Corpsmember Advisory Board which is a leadership program for the Corpsmembers. The Advisory Board teaches selected Corpsmembers leadership skills while they work on projects that benefit themselves and fellow Corpsmembers.

“California is one of the most beautiful places in the world and our connection to nature and outdoor recreation is a key part of our identity,” said California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot. “Yet today, not all Californians can get outside and into nature safely, affordably or comfortably. Outdoors for All is about expanding this opportunity to all Californians and providing lifelong outdoor experiences for families and underserved communities across the state.”

Youth Community Access is a grant program funded by the Proposition 64 marijuana tax to support public, educational, job training and outreach programs, as well as small capital projects and clean vehicle purchases that expand youth access to cultural and natural resources. Awards are prioritized for communities disproportionately affected by past federal and state drug policies, as well as other underserved communities.

Urban Corps is a certified local conservation corps whose mission is to provide young adults with the tools to expand their career opportunities through education, life skills training and paid work experience on projects that benefit the community.

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