State Parks Youth Corps (SPYC) – a nationally recognized jobs initiative started by Gov. Nixon in 2010 to enhance Missouri's 88 state parks and historic sites – is a cooperative partnership between the Division of Workforce Development and Missouri State Parks.
In 2016, SPYC will offer more than 600 positions to Missourians between ages 17 and 24 at state parks and historic sites as well as in municipal parks in St. Louis and Kansas City. Applications for the program are now being accepted online at thinkoutside.mo.gov.
Since the program was launched in 2010, more than 3,500 young people have contributed more than 700,000 hours to improving parks and historic sites throughout the state.
“State Parks Youth Corps has been a great benefit to our state parks and historic sites as young people spend their summer maintaining and improving our facilities,” said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks. “We are looking forward to another successful year of welcoming SPYC crews to Missouri State Parks.”
In 2015, youth participated in the program in more than 70 locations throughout the state park system as well as St. Louis City and Kansas City parks. Workers assisted with park maintenance, helped maintain the state’s award-winning trails and assisted with natural resource management efforts. Members of SPYC also assisted with visitor services such as leading tours and interpretive programs.
Making it a goal to reverse a 10-year decline in parks attendance, Gov. Nixon has expanded and improved Missouri’s nationally-recognized state park system, with new state parks under development in Jefferson and Shannon counties. In 2015, Missouri State Parks announced record attendance with more than 18.5 million guests, representing a nearly 25 percent increase since 2008.
For information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.