Project a window into corps

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Whether they are building bridges or tidying up campgrounds, it's the job of local youth corps members to get dirty.

Throughout the summer, teens with the Community Youth Corps and Rocky Moun--tain Youth Corps work to make public lands more enjoyable and healthy while learning important life skills and values.

On Friday, a trail-building project will be the first time residents will have the opportunity to learn about the groups and the projects they tackle. Resident are invited to get their hands dirty building a section of trail in Stagecoach State Park from 9 to 11:30 a.m. A picnic lunch will follow.

"It's sort of to get people to feel good about the youth that are making a difference in the community and in themselves," said Sheila Wright, development director for RMYC.

The organization was started in 1993 by the city of Steamboat Springs. In 1999, it became an independent, nonprofit organization with several programs, including the Regional Conservation Crew for 16- to 19-year-olds.

Community Youth Corps for teens ages 14 to 16 remains a city program.

In addition to working on environmental projects, corps members also must spend time in continuing education, studying a variety of topics, Wright said.

Friday's project will involve completing a section of the Stagecoach Overlook Trail to the Lakeside Trail, which eventually links to Routt County Road 18 and the Stagecoach dam.

The 4-foot-wide, multi-use trail will be open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders.

The overall goal is to get bicycle and foot traffic off of C.R. 14 and inside the park, park manager Mike Taylor said.

The project is a collaborative effort among Colorado Youth Corps Association, Colorado State Parks, Great Outdoors Colorado and the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

"It makes me feel good to see everybody getting together to do this," Taylor said.

Volunteers should wear long pants, gloves, boots and eye protection. Tools will be provided.

Daily park pass fees will be waived for volunteers, who should meet at the main gate.

To volunteer, call Wright or Gretchen Van De Carr at 879-2135.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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