In partnership with the National Park Service, American Conservation Experience is proud to present ACE Puerto Rico Conservation Corps (PRCC), a corps program based in Puerto Rico that will provide job skills development training for Puerto Rican youth, while addressing the island’s maintenance needs by undertaking infrastructure development with a focus on preservation and environmental conservation restoration. ACE will ensure continuity of standards and connection with the overall program culture.
ACE is providing professionally supervised crews of youth and young adults with experience in a variety of practical restoration projects on America’s public lands. Crews are participating in restoration and historic preservation projects, vegetation management, fencing, trail work, and masonry work. These projects require a highly developed skill set, and NPS technicians, ACE Southeast Director Adam Scherm, and ACE Crew Leaders are serving as professional mentors to PRCC’s youth participants.
ACE Southeast Director Adam Scherm is leading the operations in Puerto Rico. Adam brings a wealth of experience to the role from his tenure as a state director and seasoned crew leader. He is also fluent in Spanish, a skill he acquired his time with the Peace Corps. Adam’s priority is to develop recruitment channels and build relations with the local youth and young adults.
ACE PRCC recently hired 8 local youth on to the crew. The new members hail from the San Juan metro area as well as other parts of the island and have a strong desire to take part in conservation projects at San Juan National Historic Site.
The new crew members have worked diligently to improve the interior trail system just below the fortress walls of Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristobal. The crew has improved the trails by building drainage structures, reducing erosion, and constructing stone staircases to improve trail safety and hiker enjoyment. ACE PRCC has also aided in historic preservation by removing unwanted trees whose branches and root systems can damage the historic fortress walls that are over 400 years old. The new crew members have an unbelievable amount of enthusiasm for the project because they understand the historical significance of the NPS unit and they see tourists from all over the world who are there to experience San Juan National Historic Site.
This new branch of ACE has made a positive impact in the lives of 8 Puerto Rican youth where unemployment and lack of opportunities pose a huge challenge on the island. The crew members are very proud to be working for ACE and to represent San Juan National Historic site.
Director, ACE Southeast
28 Schenck Pkwy. Suite 200
Asheville, NC 28803