Detroit youth to experience hands-on learning during DNR Youth Conservation Academy

Detroit YouthDETROIT, MI – The Department of Natural Resources Youth Conservation Academy is back for its second year, kicking off Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

The six-week natural resource-based academy, held at the Michigan DNR Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) and Belle Isle Park – both located in downtown Detroit – offers 40 Detroit-area youth and young adults ages 16-19 hands-on learning about the state’s natural resources.

The academy also will highlight natural resource-based jobs available within the DNR, including positions in law enforcement, marketing and outreach, forestry, historical resources, fisheries, wildlife, parks and recreation, land management and more. The academy will offer next steps for pursuing career paths within the DNR.

Participants also will complete the hunter education program during the academy.

“The Youth Conservation Academy offers a great opportunity for Detroit-area youth and young adults to learn about natural resources conservation and management and the many career fields within the DNR,” said Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division chief and academy organizer. “These are the next generation of conservation stewards, and the DNR is honored to play an important role in their conservation training.”

Hagler will welcome the group during the July 12 opening session at the Michigan DNR Outdoor Adventure Center.

Held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday from July 12 through Aug. 16, each session is comprised of several hours of classroom learning and an array of outdoor learning and recreation activities. Most sessions feature two areas of concentration within the DNR, including:

  • July 12: Law enforcement/marketing and outreach (OAC)
  • July 19: Historical resources/minerals management (OAC)
  • July 26: Forestry/fisheries (Belle Isle Park)
  • Aug. 2: Wildlife/parks and recreation (Belle Isle Park)
  • Aug. 9: Law enforcement (Belle Isle Park)
  • Aug. 16: Graduation (OAC)

Students were selected from five Detroit-based Summer Youth Employment Initiative groups, including Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, Detroit Zoological Society, Healthy Kidz, Inc., The Youth Connection, Inc. and Urban Neighborhood Initiatives. The youth and young adults have established mentors and supervisors from these groups who will support their efforts and development throughout the academy.

Learn more about the Youth Conservation Academy at www.michigan.gov/dnreducation. Click on the Youth Conservation Academy link. Visit weekly to follow the students’ progress through blogs, video and photos. The blog also will be posted weekly on the Michigan DNR Facebook page.