The Los Angeles Conservation Corps will open a new office in East Los Angeles in the next few weeks and expects to recruit more than 100 people over the next year, Corps officials said.
Workers will clean and renovate a vacant school building at Hammel Street and Eastern Avenue to prepare for the move, said project coordinator Arturo Rodriguez. The office will run programs for youths, emphasizing the environment and cleaning up the city.
One six-month program, the “Clean and Green” project, employs 30 students from the East Los Angeles Skills Center, alternating them in community service such as planting trees, recycling and graffiti cleanup, and after-school activities that include lessons on the depletion of the ozone layer, burgeoning landfills and other environmental concerns, Rodriguez said.
Students also will learn rappelling at Joshua Tree National Monument and visit the Santa Monica Mountains.
“We try to get them to appreciate what is left of Mother Nature,” he said.
The move will expand the Conservation Corps’ efforts in East Los Angeles, Rodriguez said, but it will not diminish a citywide Corps program that works with 250 students from 14 junior high schools.
Plans are under way to recruit professional gardeners to train students to develop community gardens in senior-citizen centers.
Rodriguez said he hopes the Clean and Green program will expand to include high school students.
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