County of Marin - Press Releases - Marin Youth Ecology Corps

For Immediate Release
April 29, 2014

Ecology Program for At-Risk Youths Expands

Innovative conservation effort builds on last year’s success

San Rafael, CA - The Marin Employment Connection (MEC) is again partnering with Bay Area agencies for the Marin Youth Ecology Corps (MYEC), a program that will allow at-risk youths to earn money this summer through conservation work.

The pilot program last summer was deemed a success by the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services and, as a result, program capacity was increased with eight additional openings.

The MEC, Conservation Corps North Bay (CCNB), Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden, Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) and California State Parks (CSP) are teaming up to initiate the eight-week program. Twenty-four at-risk Marin residents between ages 16-25 will work at the Indian Valley Organic Farm or Garden in Novato, locations throughout Marin County with the Department of Public Works completing water restoration projects or at Mount Tamalpais State Park near Mill Valley.

The MYEC empowers local youths with job readiness skills in a fun and stimulating atmosphere. Participants will receive weekly instruction on environmental issues and career exploration.

“We are excited to see the Marin Youth Ecology Corps Program grow this summer, with crews restoring creeks in Novato and Santa Venetia, maintaining trails, picnic and campsites on Mount Tamalpais and learning to grow vegetables at the Indian Valley Farm and Garden,” said Max Korten, CCNB’s director of natural resources and contracting. “This program is a first job for many participants, allowing them to be part of a team and learning new skills. It will be an adventure and an experience that will help them as they move into the workforce and onto further education.”

Using the Marin County Office of Education’s Work Readiness Certificate criteria as its foundation, CCNB will impart appropriate workplace behaviors essential to retaining employment. At the program’s end, participants can apply for CCNB’s ongoing education and training programs which could extend their paid work.

“This project comes with the right elements to fulfill our Marin County Flood Control & Water Conservation District’s philosophy: Protect our communities from flooding and protect the health and ecological function of our Watersheds,” said Bene da Silva, engineering technician for Marin County DPW. “We have been working with the Conservation Corps since 1982, and we are pleased to be supporting this youth program.”

The MYEC is one of several County Health and Human Services initiatives to increase local and regional youth employment. See a video highlighting youth participants from last summer.

Applications are available via Marin Employment Connection’s website.  For questions about the application process, please contact Eric Petersen with MEC at (415) 473-3340.  Workshops will follow throughout May for candidates on everything from interviewing to completing the CCNB application. Interviews are scheduled for June 5 and 12 with the first day of work scheduled for June 16. There will be a celebratory kickoff event at the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden on June 20.

To find out more about CCNB or the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden, call CEO Marilee Eckert at (415) 246-3248 or email  Contact Victor Bjelajac regarding further information on California State Parks Marin Sector at (415) 388-2719 or


Racy Ming
Director, Workforce Investment Board of Marin
Health and Human Services

120 N. Redwood Dr.
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-3334
Email: Racy Ming
Marin Employment website