Sep 17, 2009

Detailing several of the projects the RCC crew members worked on this summer

The Recovery Conservation Corps (RCC) program made a positive difference in Athens County this summer, fixing up public properties and allowing young men and women to receive training and paid work experience.
The federal government’s economic stimulus package provided the funding through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program for the RCC in Athens County and all across Ohio. Locally, Athens County Job and Family Services coordinated the program with Hocking College and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Jim Batey, RCC coordinator for Hocking College, explained that the work crews completed numerous improvement projects around the county.
“We’ve been doing a lot of invasive species control at Gifford State Forest,” Batey said. The RCC crews also worked on projects such as clearing trails and improving the timber stand in the forest by cutting dead branches off the trees.
At the Waterloo Wildlife Area, the crew members cleared trails to make them easier for the public to use, and picked up hundreds of tires that had been dumped throughout the property. The RCC is using grant funding to properly dispose of the tires.
“Some of the trails, you couldn’t tell were they were before,” Batey said, adding that the RCC members did excellent work on the trails.
At Strouds Run State Park, the crew members cleared the spillway area for the dam. The crew members took down at least 20 trees, and then ran them through the chipper as part of the work in clearing the spillway. The crew members also did work in other parts of the park, including renovating the restrooms and the bathhouse.
At Lake Snowden, the RCC member put up signs on the new horse trail system and made improvements to the trail, renovated the shelter houses, made improvements at the Sauber House facility, worked on the grounds at the fish hatchery and did general park maintenance.
At Hocking College, the crew members improved nature trails, replaced bridges on the trails, worked on the property around the reflection pond, and did general maintenance work such as weed eating and painting.
Along the Athens County Bikepath, the RCC members put in a new access point for canoes to get into the Hocking River. The access point is near Lemaster Road and Hamley Run Road near The Plains.
Hocking College’s heavy equipment program did the site work, Rocky Boots donated materials for the project and the RCC members did much of the work, Batey explained.
“We formed and poured the concrete for the canoe access,” Batey said. “It was real labor intensive…they did a great job.”
At all of the work sites, the RCC members showed a lot of pride and worked very hard, Batey said.
“I think the main thing they learn is working together in a team situation,” he said. The RCC members had the opportunity to work closely with people from different backgrounds and with different personalities, and that experience will help them throughout their lives.
Shown in the above photo is the new canoe access point for the Hocking River near Hamley Run Road and Lemaster Road near The Plains. Shown in the lower photo is RCC crew member Craig Hays clearing brush in the spillway area for the dam at Strouds Run State Park.

No comments: