The Pennsylvania Conservation Corps (PCC) is a statewide program that offers work experience, job training and educational opportunities to young people who complete conservation, recreation and historical preservation projects on the state's public lands. PCC members are between the ages of 18 and 25; they work in crews under the guidance of skilled, adult crew leaders. More than 12,000 young people have served since the program began in 1984.
The Pennsylvania Conservation Corps at Raystown has completed over 100 projects and counting since they began working at Raystown Lake in 2000. Some of the most noteworthy accomplishments of the PCC include:
- The crew has planted countless seedlings, small trees and other forage and cover to improve habitat for wildlife.
- The crew has built several deer fences throughout the project for protection of vegetation from deer and study purposes.
- The crew has built and placed hundreds for artificial habitat structures including bat, bluebird, wood duck, and flicker boxes, catfish spawning boxes, and fish cribs.
- The crew is a critical member of the Osprey hacking program and constructed a hacking tower to help establish Osprey in the area.
- The crew has constructed and rehabilitated miles of trail.
- Located behind the Seven Points Visitor Center, the crew constructed a series of ponds and connecting riffles that enhance the adjacent song bird habitat which was also established by the PCC.
- In 2002 the crew constructed a replica keelboat that was used in a national touring interpretive program that celebrated the historic Lewis and Clark exploration of the Louisiana Purchase.
- The crew has constructed numerous structures and facilities that enhance visitor experiences at Raystown. These projects include:
- A Picnic Shelter with stone fireplace at Group Camp
- A beautiful stone and rough log sign adjacent to the Seven Points Amphitheater that announces upcoming programs and events.
- A visitor reception area at the Ranger Station with custom countertops and cabinets.
- A redesigned observation point including universal access for peoples with limited accessibility, masonry ledges, plantings, and benches at Ridenour Overlook
- The crew assists with the annual “Wheelin’ Sportsmen” event for disabled hunters by clearing access roads and paths, and establishing accessible hunting blinds.
In addition to these accomplishments the crew performs numerous other functions such as trail maintenance, wild fire fighting, fire road clearing, emergency snow and flood debris removal, invasive species removal, and other needed work. The crew is a part of the Raystown family and contributes greatly to maintaining and improving wildlife habitat and visitor’s experiences at the lake.