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Some 30 high school students, most of them from Newark, staffed work crews at parks throughout Essex County as part of a summer program run by the Student Conservation Association. The students were recruited through public schools for the seven-week program, which starts with a job training workshop and introduction to green jobs. Students were paid $1,400 for the summer and went on a four-day camping trip at the end of the program. Crews of about 10 students and two crew leaders helped re-route and grade hiking trails to fix erosion and drainage problems, do tree maintenance, stream assessment and remove invasive plants. Despite the labor-intensive work, more than 150 students applied for the 30 spots available in the Newark program. A similar program is run by the SCA in Hunterdon County. (Video by Nyier Abdou/The Star-Ledger)
This is the third year that the SCA has been working with the Conservancy. Sandy Felzenberg worked with the groups on Lenape Trail rerouting and Tricia Zimic oversaw efforts to remove invasives at several forest regeneration sites and construct trails in the 14-acre Wildflower and Forest Preserve.