The Grinnell Youth Conservation Corps (GYCC) began in 2006 when five energetic Grinnell youth participated in the program for eight weeks. First led by college student coordinator, Alicia Sellon, the group learned about water quality and conservation at Arbor Lake Park. The GYCC program is a collaboration between the Grinnell College Center for Prairie Studies and the City of Grinnell, with planning and oversight support by Imagine Grinnell. Supplies and equipment were purchased for the first program in part through a $1500 grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, with a match by the City of Grinnell.
Since that first summer, the GYCC has accomplished an impressive amount of restoration work. They have removed invasive trees and shrubs along the west shoreline or the lake, planted over around the lake and in the new wetland basins, and assisted IOWATER with a macroinvertebrate survey of Hazel and Wood Creeks, the north tributaries of Arbor Lake. The youth have also conducted wildlife surveys of the wetland basins. The college student coordinator for the summer of 2011 is Chris Gallo.