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Young Adults Help Missouri Department of Conservation

A small group of young adults is helping clean up and care for some of southwest Missouri's parks.

KSMU's Matt Petcoff has the story...

This week, Marie Martin and her group of young adults with the Youth Conservation Council are helping move thousands of fish at the Chesapeake Fish Hatchery.

Just last week, the group was clearing trails at the Busiek State Forest.

And, next week they'll head to the Andy Dalton shooting range.

But, right now, they have their hands full... literally... moving hybrid sunfish from pond to pond.

They took turns dipping large buckets in the water, scooping up fish and carrying the buckets to a truck that would transport the fish to a new pond.

Martin says this musical chairs for fish is important for their growth.

This is Martin's first year with the Y-C-C and of the five team members in her group, only one participated last year.

And, while the group took a break for lunch and to wash off with a hose, one of the rookies, Michael Jones, says this kind of summer job beats what most of his friends are doing.

While the jobs the Y-C-C group will be undertaking this summer aren't critical to the different conservation areas, they're important nonetheless.

Martin says the group went to Busiek last week at just the right time because all of the rain had made quite a mess.

And, the Chesapeake Hatchery manager, Andy Cornforth, says he realizes it's about more than just having a little extra help around during the summer.

This week at the fishery was the second of 9 weeks worth of work for Marie Martin and her group.

Each week will be at a new location and Martin says the group's task each week changes based on what needs done when they arrive.