Wisconsin Conservation Corps

Crew Leader Chainsaw Training - Fall 2022
Indiana Dunes Crew Summer '22 - Learning from NPS Staff
Summer Roving Crew '22 - Trail Work
Indiana Dunes Crew Summer '22 - Visitor Center Visit
Crew Leader Training Summer '22 - Chainsaw Training
Local La Crosse Crew '22 - Visiting Project Sites
Fall '22 Roving Crew - Visiting Ice Age Trail Alliance Office
Fall '22 Roving Crew - Snow Day on the North Country National Scenic Trail
End of Season Communal Crew Camp at Perrot State Park
Indiana Dunes National Park Crew - Sinking In
Indiana Dunes National Park Crew - In the Marsh with Waiters On
Summer '22 Roving Crew - Leaf Shade
Roving Crew - Testing Out a Trail Project
Crew Member Training - Trail Building Training
Local La Crosse Crew - Lunch Break View
WisCorps Roving Crew - Mountain Bike Trail Construction Crew
WisCorps - Fall 2022 Crew Cohort!
WisCorps Roving Crew - Boardwalk Construction Project
Indiana Dunes National Park Crew - Habitat Restoration

The WisCorps mission is to develop leadership, self-confidence, and a strong work ethic in youth and young adults through the active stewardship of upper Midwest communities and natural resources. WisCorps, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) conservation corps headquartered in La Crosse, Wisconsin that engages youth and young adults in two areas: conservation projects and nature education.

Roving Crews, the Indiana Dunes National Park Crew, and the Local La Crosse Crew complete high-quality projects throughout the upper Midwest as they gain technical skills and expand their knowledge of natural resource management.

About Wisconsin Conservation Corps

What is it like to be on a WisCorps crew?

Be prepared to work hard in beautiful places! WisCorps crews are responsible for the gritty aspect of conservation at natural areas throughout the upper Midwest. Crews work together to build trails, manage habitats, and perform carpentry projects at properties managed by non-profits, local government, the Wisconsin DNR, and the National Park Service. WisCorps crews join the teams that manage some of the most beautiful areas in our region. Crew participants get the chance to network with land management agencies, learn various land management techniques, and serve their communities as a member of AmeriCorps.

WisCorps Crew Program participants spend the duration of their experience (9 or 11 weeks in the summer and 8 weeks in the fall) living, serving, and traveling together in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. Project service takes place Monday through Friday with weekends "off," but crews stay together participating in recreational activities, taking care of chores, and relaxing.

Being on a WisCorps crew can be a platform for personal change. Crews connect with nature through their AmeriCorps service and their leisure time. Previous Crew Leaders and Members have commented that this opportunity to connect with nature has helped boost their self-esteem and confidence. During the experience, participants collaborate to eat healthily and minimize their impact on the earth.

The Employee Experience

A WisCorps Roving Crew Member's reflection:

“WisCorps crews are the people responsible for the dirty, gritty aspect of conservation. As a Crew Member, you are the face of the organization. You're tasked with keeping the WisCorps mission alive. Crew Members are taught to multitask in a chaotic environment. On a crew, you will:

  • operate a wide range of power/hand tools and heavy machinery
  • work directly with WisCorps Crew Leaders and project partners
  • need to employ the concept of ‘leave no trace’
  • maintain a positive attitude in the face of adversity
  • learn and master techniques in different aspects of conservation”

Ideal Candidate

WisCorps Crew Leaders and Crew Members are: 

  • Highly self-motivated, hardworking, confident, autonomous
  • Passionate about the environment, outdoor sports, hunting, or nature 
  • Creative thinkers and have a sense of humor
  • People who relish rugged working conditions and appreciate being outside
  • Understanding of the importance of conservation field work

Room and Board

Most WisCorps crews live and work together throughout the entirety of training and the project season. Housing accommodations vary by crew. Roving Crews will be stationed at various front country campgrounds. Roving Crews sometimes will need to camp in backcountry or remote locations. All Roving Crew Leaders and Members will be issued a personal tent to use throughout the season. The Dunes Crew lives in an apartment or dormitory style space throughout their entire season. Local Crews serve with WisCorps during the day and go home to their own housing at night and on weekends. Three meals per day and snacks are provided for Roving Crews and the Dunes Crew. Lunch and snacks are provided for Local Crews.

Employee Perks

  • AmeriCorps service people receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of their required hours; education awards vary from $1400 to $4800 per service term
  • WisCorps crews get to live and work in some of the most beautiful National Parks, State Parks, public lands, and wild areas in the upper Midwest
  • The Crew Program provides excellent opportunities to network with land management agencies and make new friends with similar values
  • Participants get to learn about themselves, become exposed to other cultures and opinions, learn about professional conservation techniques, and experience new places around the Midwest
  • Food and a place to live is provided for WisCorps crews, meaning you're able to save most of the living stipends that you earn during your WisCorps service

Getting Here and Getting Around

Travel Logistics:

  • Please do not bring personal vehicle. To arrive to Crew Leader or Crew Member training, please get a ride from friends or family, take a bus or train, take a plane to the Minneapolis - St. Paul Airport, or talk to WisCorps staff about other transportation options.
  • If driving your personal vehicle is your only option:
    • There is a $100 parking option available for the summer season. The parking is available through UW-La Crosse and we will put you in contact with their parking managers. The parking location is at a UW-La Crosse lot near the WisCorps warehouse.
    • There is no parking available through WisCorps or UW-La Crosse in the fall. If you must drive a personal vehicle to a fall season, you will need to handle parking it in a location where it can stay for the duration of your season. WisCorps does not have any secure parking available and we do not watch or care for vehicles that are brought by service people.
  • WisCorps staff can pick you up locally at the Amtrak station, bus stations, a hotel, an AirBnB, or other lodging. Our staff will then give you a ride to Crew Leader or Crew Member training. We also provide rides at the end of the season to all of those same locations.
  • We operate a shuttle from the Minneapolis - St. Paul airport on Arrival Day before Crew Leader and Crew Member Training. WisCorps also operates a shuttle back to the MSP airport on the Saturday after the season ends for anyone flying to the experience. Using MSP as your airport option is cheaper and more reliable than flying to the La Crosse airport. You must find your own lodging on the Friday night after your season ends before the shuttle back to MSP on Saturday.

For Fun

WisCorps offers a unique experience for Crew Leaders and Crew Members, including the ability to work and live in the areas below:

  • The WisCorps headquarters is located in La Crosse, Wisconsin, known for its beautiful blufflands, organic farming, river activities on the Mississippi, La Crosse, and Kickapoo Rivers, hiking, camping, and outdoor music events
  • The Indiana Dunes National Park Crew lives near Chesterton, Indiana for their entire season, taking advantage of the beaches at the National Park and the convenience of taking the train to downtown Chicago
  • Roving Crews live and work in beautiful areas all over Wisconsin and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; locations include Isle Royale National Park, the Keweenaw Peninsula, Chequamegon National Forest, the St. Louis River (near Duluth), Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the shore of Lake Michigan, the prairies of southwestern Wisconsin, and many unique lands in between

How to Apply

Read more about WisCorps and apply to the Crew Program on our website via the link below. For more information, contact Crew Program Manager Paul George-Blazevich at paul.blazevich@wiscorps.org.

Contact Wisconsin Conservation Corps