Applicants sought for local summer apprentice

Published 8:54 am Friday, February 23, 2018

Applicants for summer conservation apprentice positions throughout Minnesota need to apply by next week, including those interested in working at Mower Soil & Water Conservation District in Austin.

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa is accepting applications through March 2 those ages 18 to 25, for summer apprentice positions at 31 host locations with Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) offices in the state.

Mower SWCD was approved for a third-straight year by Conservation Corps to host and mentor an apprentice, who will serve from May 15 to Aug. 10. Apprentices spend the summer working with SWCD natural resource professionals to learn hands-on skills in managing soil and water resources.

“Our office really has enjoyed and greatly benefited from hosting a Conservation Corps apprentice,” Mower SWCD district manager Justin Hanson said. “It’s not only an outstanding experience for the apprentice to gain skills and knowledge but also truly helpful to our staff to get work done during what’s always a busy summer.”

This summer, the apprentice with Mower SWCD will work with Mower County landowners on conservation seeding and help with several water-monitoring projects in the Cedar and Root River watersheds. The apprentice also will assist with checking conservation easements and newly established buffers as well as help with a soil-health research project getting launched this year.

Applicants can designate sites they are willing to work; other nearby host sites include Winona and Fillmore SWCD offices.

Conservation Corps pays each apprentice a $1,355 monthly stipend. Once a term is completed successfully, apprentices will get a $1,538 education award to use toward qualifying education and student loan expenses.

The summer apprentice program is funded through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund and LCCMR.

Management projects for apprentices might include service and groundwater monitoring; wetland and watercourse inventories and assessments; preparation for cost-share and easement programs; field surveying and site inspections; and coordinating educational programs. They also might communicate with landowners to develop management plans, gather input on best practices and provide education materials on water resources.

Those interested can get more information at www.conservationcorps.org/apprentice-academy and complete an application online.