COVID Response Crews Available to Assist Upper Peninsula Communities, Tribes and Non-Profit Organizations
MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN: The Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) is offering their new Covid Community Crews (CCC) to assist Upper Peninsula communities, tribes and non-profit organizations. The crews are available at no cost to assist with a wide variety of projects that communities or organizations may need completed due to unexpected impacts created by the Covid pandemic. With each advancing week of the Covid crisis new community needs continue to emerge across the Upper Peninsula. Eligible CCC projects could include; loading boxes at regional food pantries, conducting environmental monitoring, re-opening local parks, improving regional hiking trails, posting related signs, erecting fencing, assisting with contact tracing or providing enthusiastic labor for a wide range of other Covid-related community projects. Each CCC crew is equipped with a truck, tools, training and safety equipment.
In 2018, when Houghton was hit by torrential rains and devastating flood waters the SWP sent their Great Lakes Conservation Corps (GLCC) within 24 hours to assist the community. GLCC crews ended up staying for over a month to help citizens dig out, help coordinate a volunteer center and help with whatever was needed to get life back to normal. The Covid crisis has been different. It wasn't clear at first what the greatest needs were for the rural communities of the Upper Peninsula. Especially in light of social distancing. Those community needs are becoming more clear.
Food banks and community assistance organizations need labor as well as donations. Smaller local units of government and grassroots recreation organizations need help preparing their parks and trail systems for the upcoming surge of residents and tourists (they will be back!) once the stay-at-home orders are loosened or lifted. The list of real community needs goes on. Eligible CCC projects can cover a wide range of community requests including but not limited to; social, environmental, public health, economic and recreational.
Under Michigan Governor Whitmer's Covid Executive Orders most SWP personnel have been classified as essential due to working on critical infrastructure projects or coordinating low-income assistance programs such as the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP). Ideal CCC projects will be outside but crews will also be available for some indoor projects that provide adequate social distancing. Four-person and two-person CCC crews are available depending on the project. CCC crews are tentatively scheduled to be available beginning in May.
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The SWP is a local Great Lakes non-profit organization serving communities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. All SWP programs, including the CCC, are locally coordinated SWP programs (ie; not state or federal).
Please contact the SWP to schedule eligible CCC projects at:
(906) 228-6095 ext. 14