Last week saw the successful launch of the Conservation Training Partnership program, the goal of which is to develop and carry out local conservation projects around the state powered by teams of high school students and community volunteers. The CTP is an outgrowth of the Natural Resources Conservation Academy, the week-long program for high school students that is in its 5th year (and taking place this week!). That program has been so successful that — with a big boost from the National Science Foundation — CLEAR, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, and the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering were able to create the CTP.
Like the NRCA Mother Ship (actually called the NRCA Conservation Ambassador Program), the CTP has twin goals of educating the participants about natural resource protection, and catalyzing on-the-ground conservation projects in communities across the state. However, CTP workshops are only two days and include both students and their community partners, joined together into teams. Last week’s workshops were held in Storrs and New Haven, but participants came from all over the state. Faced with a two-day barrage from the teaching faculty on natural resource topics and geospatial tools training, the teams bravely took it all in and came up with great ideas for projects, from bear awareness to invasive species mapping. Congrats to the CTP graduates! Much more to come as their projects progress!