Laura Bliss-Morris of the Union Sportsmen's Alliance sends us this report.
As part of a Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) Boots on the Ground project, volunteers from Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 30 helped put the finishing touches on a new facility that will host youth educational programs at the Torstenson Family Youth Conservation Education Center.
Located just outside of Rockford, Ill., adjacent to the Pecatonica River, the center is situated on 750 acres of property and boasts woodlands, wetlands and prairies. Owned and managed by the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF), the Torstenson Center is a hunting, camping and birding paradise for area youth.
ICF Executive Director Mark Spangler says members of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 196 and Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 150 have expressed interest in helping with various projects on the property including developing a five-acre pond and berms for a shooting range.
Ryan Anderson, director of organizational development for District Council 30, says:
These projects are important to the labor movement because they give union members the opportunity to refine their skills while working together to volunteer for a great cause. It’s great that our members are able to give some of that back to their communities, with a skill-set that allows them to do the jobs right.
USA’s Boots on the Ground program brings together union members from around the country who are willing to volunteer their time and expertise to tackle conservation projects, which improve and enhance public access, wildlife habitat and outdoor experiences for communities across America.