Menu
///Inmates Plant 400 Trees and Graduate from A Green Job Training Program

Inmates Plant 400 Trees and Graduate from A Green Job Training Program

Press Release

Contact: Marissa Spratley
Email: mspratley@allianceforthebay.org
Office: 443-949-0575 Cell: 410-718-2728

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Inmates Plant 400 Trees and Graduate from A Green Job Training Program
State, Federal Agencies and NGOs Work Together to Restore Lands and Waters in Nontraditional Way

Huntingdon, PA (October 17, 2019)

On Wednesday, October 16, Secretary Cindy Dunn of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Secretary Brand Flood of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, and other conservation professionals gathered to celebrate the graduation of 16 inmates from Huntingdon State Correctional Institution from the Correctional Conservation Collaborative (CCC). This new program provides inmates nearing release with forestry and green job training.

The CCC is a partnership between the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (Alliance), Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC). Since July 2019, the CCC program has trained inmates at Huntingdon State Correctional Institution in planting and maintaining riparian buffers, which are streamside trees and shrubs that help control erosion and filter polluted runoff. The program will not only reduce recidivism, but it will also help Pennsylvania meet its forestry goals under the state’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP).

Ryan Davis, program manager for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, said, “I think that empowerment is a big part of this story. My guys in the Riparian Forest Buffer Vocational Training now know A LOT and have worked hard to develop the skills that could support them in a technical vocation. But unlike welding or painting or other manual professions, they are now experts at creating forests. They are empowered to help make the world a better place and to contribute substantially in the fight for a livable planet. I don’t think there’s anything more noble.”

The Alliance was one of the primary organizations who created and implemented the program. Over fourteen weeks, Davis, his partners at DCNR, and guest speakers from a wide variety of non-governmental, state, and federal agencies taught the inmates how to properly plant and maintain streamside forests both in the classroom and in the field on real buffer sites that needed to be maintained. The program participants used their new skills to design the planting which was held on the day of the graduation ceremony, where 400 trees and shrubs were planted along a tributary to the Juniata River.

“This program is a win on several levels,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “It provides employable skills to inmates nearing release and returning to their communities and grows the number of contract installers and maintainers of riparian, or streamside, forest buffers. These buffers will help improve the water quality in rivers and streams and make them healthier for people and wildlife.”

###

Riparian Forest Buffer Vocational Training concludes as inmates from Huntingdon State Correctional Institution plant 400 trees with help from officials and environmental professionals in Huntingdon, Pa., on Oct. 16, 2019. Ryan Davis (Chesapeake Forest Program Manager) and Craig Highfield (Director of Chesapeake Forest Program) plant trees to achieve the 400 planted. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

 

Riparian Forest Buffer Vocational Training concludes as inmates from Huntingdon State Correctional Institution plant 400 trees with help from officials and environmental professionals in Huntingdon, Pa., on Oct. 16, 2019. Kate Fritz, Executive Director of the Alliance, assists an inmate in planting a tree. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

 

Riparian Forest Buffer Vocational Training concludes as inmates from Huntingdon State Correctional Institution plant 400 trees with help from officials and environmental professionals in Huntingdon, Pa., on Oct. 16, 2019. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

Share This Post
Marissa Spratley Communications Manager, Maryland & DC Office

Marissa is the Communications Manager at the Alliance’s Headquarters. Her job includes managing communications strategies across the organization and our regional offices.

View Bio