June is Great Outdoors Month-a celebration of America’s natural spaces and the many ways to enjoy them. If you have hiked a trail in the Front Range foothills, chances are Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC) youth have worked to maintain or build that trail during its 27 year history.
Mile High Youth Corps transforms lives, communities and the environment through meaningful youth development and service programs rooted in conservation and the community.
Nature and the environment are rehabilitated and protected through MHYC’s land conservation programs. MHYC’s work improves and protects trails, open spaces, forest and parks-ensuring they are intact for future generations. This year Land Conservation crews will employ nearly 120 young adults age 18-24 to work on 45 projects across Colorado including Denver, Jefferson, Adams, Boulder, Clear Creek, El Paso, Huerfano, Baca, Bent and Kit Carson counties.
Through extensive partnerships, MHYC delivers high quality projects at a fraction of the costs of contractors, allowing much needed attention to the intricate trail systems we enjoy in Colorado. MHYC partners with public land management agencies including Denver Parks and Recreation, Bureau of Land Management, JeffCo Open Spaces, working on projects across 22 counties in Colorado that estimate to impact 2.1 million people through trail access and open space use annually. MHYC crews are hired to support, often huge backlogs, of land maintenance projects including new trail construction, forest thinning, invasive tree removal and native planting.
This year you can find one of our all women’s crews working on the Devil’s Playground project on Pikes Peak. This crew of 8 women are starting a three-year project, partnering with Rocky Mountain Field Institute, to reroute the Devil’s Playground trail. This trail has heavy use during summer months and is in very poor shape, eroding away the treasured alpine vegetation that has grown to be as large as 20 feet wide in some areas.