We’re kicking off 2014 in style with a brand new OCCC Charter School website! We hope it will be an inspiration to future students and a source of valuable information for the whole OCCC Charter School community. Check out our monthly calendar for upcoming events and keep an eye on our blog for a mix of school news, student success, encouragement, life lessons and humor. It’s going to be a great year!
Here are some photos from our 2013 Corpsmember Christmas Party. Smiles all around!
The Corps Network is a direct descendant of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps and provides national leadership and support to it’s 127 nationwide member corps.
Read more about the award and the Corps Network at the links above.
On Friday September 27th, 2013 we held our Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
The Daily Titan ran a nice news story about the ceremony.
Read the article here: http://www.dailytitan.com/2013/09/oc-conservation-corps-and-charter-school-opens-with-a-ribbon-cutting-ceremony/
A new Orange County program is trying to make our waterways and beaches cleaner and safer. Arti Nehru reports.
On Thursday, September 12, 2013 KABC-LA Channel 7 ran a story during their 5 o’clock evening news about the Disney & Wyland sponsored Adopt-A-Channel program. The story described the OCCC’s involvement in working with Disney and OC Public Works to clean up our county’s storm drains.
See the ABC7 broadcast below along with Disney’s blog video of the event and the OC Register’s article about the same subject.
Orange County Register
September 12, 2013
Disney-Anaheim clean-up project goes countywide
By SARAH TULLY
Disneyland Resort officials tried to make sure its water was clean before it ran from the theme parks’ property.
But when the water entered Anaheim’s flood channels, it blended with hypodermic needles, auto parts, dead animals and Cheetos wrappers as it flowed toward the ocean. Spray cans were left behind by taggers, who frequently marked up the slanted, concrete walls a few blocks from Disneyland.
For the past year, Disney has funded a project to remove trash and graffiti along a two-mile stretch of the channel closest to its theme parks.
Today, Disney plans to join with OC Public Works to ask others to do the same.
OC Public Works officially plans to kick off an Adopt-A-Channel program to get the public involved in the county’s 350 miles of flood channels that feed into the Pacific. Much like the Adopt-a-Highway program, businesses, organizations and individuals would sponsor the maintenance of a stretch of a storm-water channel.
“If we can start this one domino going, others can join us,” said Frank Dela Vara, environmental-affairs director for the Disneyland Resort who came with the idea for the pilot project.
Orange County channels
OC Public Works is in charge of managing the watershed system, along with cities, in channels with earthen floors and concrete walls. The main role is to protect human life and property during storms, said the county’s Grant Sharp, manager of the environmental-monitoring section.
But the program is strapped when it comes to dealing with graffiti and pollution, which flows down streets into pipes that feed the channels. Crews will go to scenes, as needed. Each stretch gets one inspection per year before the storm season, Sharp said.
Workers also scrape out trash caught by 12 barriers throughout the county before the ocean.
Some of the debris gets through and can harm the wildlife, said Grace Adams, executive director of the Bolsa Chica Conservancy in Huntington Beach. Bolsa Chica officials have found soccer balls, oil cans and even TV sets in the wetlands.
She’s seen birds with cigarette butts in their mouths. More than 50 species of marketed fish are there.
“If you don’t protect this resource, it affects you and I,” Adams said.
Upstream, miles away in Anaheim, the pilot project aimed to prevent some of that trash from making its way into the ocean.
In June 2012, the Disneyland Resort gave $50,000 to the Orange County Conservancy Corps to help out.
Once a week, usually on Fridays, a few corps members in work boots shuffle down steep concrete walls, bringing grabbers to clinch the trash and toss it in black bags. The corps started with a two-mile stretch a few blocks west of the Disneyland Hotel, running near the Hermosa Village housing complex and Energy Field park.
Crews sometimes go beyond the two-mile area, to the stretch by Lake Intermediate School in Garden Grove where graffiti was rampant. The corps also takes pictures of graffiti and reports it to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s taggers program. About 90 percent of the corps work is painting over graffiti.
Now, less trash and graffiti are in the channel and downstream. Sharp said the Anaheim channel is “virtually free of any issue.”
“The difference is just incredible,” Dela Vara said.
Last week corps members visited a channel near the Boeing Company plant in Huntington Beach, where an inflatable trash barrier catches debris.
Before, said Josh Volp, the corps’ director of operations, the garbage mashed up against the concrete walls. Last week, though, the junk was mostly in a stream in the middle; there were dozens of spray cans, three basketballs and plastic.
“It’s a lot better down here, because a lot of litter picked up there doesn’t come downstream,” Volp said.
Now, the county hopes more people will join the program.
So far, there’s no minimum requirement of funding or help. Scouting troops, individuals and an art gallery already have mentioned that they want to join. Disney will stay involved. The county wants interested parties to come forward, and officials will come up with a program that works for the group, Sharp said.
“We want people’s time and effort and dedication,” Sharp said.
Contact the writer: 714-704-3793 or email@example.com
Join us in celebrating the accomplishments of the Orange County Conservation Corps Charter School’s Class of 2013. This year’s ceremony will be held at Irvine Valley College. The Commencement Address will be delivered by Dr. Michael Worley, President of the Orange County Conservation Corps Charter School Board. There are a limited amount of tickets available. Please contact Jennifer Matas at 714-956-6222 Ext. 301 with any questions.
As of last month, corpsmember Angel Amaro exchanged one Corps for another: the Conservation Corps for the Marine Corps.
He joined the OCCC work experience program in June 2011 after spending about a month at our charter school. He earned his diploma shortly thereafter. While in our program, he also became certified in First Aid/CPR and Chainsaw Operation. He helped restore Caspers Wilderness Park with our National Emergency Grant crew (pictured above), which he said was one of his favorite OCCC experiences. Since then, he has been working in our recycling program. Because of his experience at the OCCC, he said, “I know how to work with people more and how to work with superiors.”
These are important skills, since he wants to pursue a career in the Marines. He wants to enlist because of a “sense of duty,” he said. “With everything going on in the world right now, we need someone to step up. I felt I should do my part.” As for why he chose the Marines: “They’re the best.”
OCCC crews are back on the slopes in San Juan Capistrano. Over the next two years, corpsmembers will continue to improve the 54 acre Open Space area. In 2012, our crews installed a complex irrigation system in the San Juan Watershed and area known as the 2C Ranch. Now, the City of San Juan Capistrano has hired the OCCC to monitor the irrigation system, continue removal of non-native plants and tend to the recent native plantings. The project will improve native habitat, increase water conservation and reduce flood and fire risks.