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Kristina Pechacek and Andrea Eglinton complete Conservation Corps service

Kristina Pechacek and Andrea Eglinton, both of Hastings, recently completed 10-month service terms with Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa, a nonprofit that engages young people in hands-on service managing natural resources and responding to disasters. From February through December, 135 young adults worked outside in all seasons improving recreational trails, fighting wildfires, conducting prescribed burns, removing invasive species, planting trees and conducting other conservation projects to restore native habitat throughout the Midwest.

Pechacek served as a crew leader and Eglinton as a crew member, each on a crew with four other AmeriCorps members. Pechacek’s crew was based in Fergus Falls and Eglinton’s in Windom. During the 2013 service term, AmeriCorps members conducted prescribed burns to restore 24,520 acres of prairie; planted 135,430 native trees and plants; suppressed 30,095 acres of wildfire; removed over 11,150 acres of invasive species and constructed or improved over 700 miles of trail. Habitat restoration projects are completed on public lands in partnership with city governments, county conservation boards, state and federal agencies and other nonprofit  organizations.