LA Conservation Corps Re-Launches River Corps Program in Partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


LA Conservation Corps Re-Launches River Corps Program
in Partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Local Young Adults Take on Conservation of LA River

Los Angeles—–July 8, 2019—–The LA Conservation Corps (LA Corps) has received a grant of $98,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to engage at-risk young adults in the River Corps program, a local conservation effort. The River Corps is led by a crew of four Corpsmembers who will be trained in environmental education, habitat restoration, river ecology, and community outreach as they work to improve and enhance the Los Angeles River.

Wendy Butts, the CEO of the LA Corps expressed, “We are excited for this opportunity to renew our work on river conservation, thanks to support from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Through hands-on training and exposure to the unique needs of the river environment, Corpsmembers will develop important skills and have a direct impact on helping the area’s natural resources to flourish.”

The River Corps program has been part of the SoCal Urban Wildlife Refuge Project since 2014. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has granted more than $800,000 to the LA Corps in support of the program to provide training for Corpsmembers in watershed habitat restoration, native landscaping, biodiversity, endangered species protection, green infrastructure, invasive species identification and removal, and conservation.

Corpsmembers take their newly gained knowledge and share it with the community. In past years, they have led kayak tours, removed graffiti and debris from the river, interacted with river-adjacent communities, and participated in environmental education programs and events. Since then, several former River Corps crew members have gone on to conservation-related higher education programs and careers at federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service and California State Parks.

Melinda Alvarado, an alumni Corpsmember who served with the River Corps shared, “I enjoyed working as part of the River Corps team. Every day was new and exciting when it came to studying and observing the local hummingbirds, plants, river, and even hawks. It was such a positive experience and opened great opportunities for me. Thanks to the River Corps program I was able to land myself in a career that I love with California State Parks. Today, I get to teach people about birds, plants, and many of the topics I was exposed to back when I was a Corpsmember with the River Corps. Not only did I gain knowledge about nature and habitat restoration, but I also learned to cope with challenges in life, to better understand my inner self, and to feel connected to nature. I am grateful.”

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

About the LA Conservation Corps

The LA Conservation Corps, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, provides at-risk young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success through job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community.  | Social media: @LACorps

For more information, contact: Erica Blodgett at: 213-362-9000 x261 or

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