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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

NCCC*AmeriCorps at Work this Spring

Posted by Wells Reserve Contributor | May 13, 2015 | Filed under: Culture

NCCC AmeriCorps team at the Wells Reserve for March and April 2015Perhaps you have noticed the young people dressed in distinctive khaki pants and NCCC-labeled tee shirts working individually or in groups on the grounds at Laudholm. They are members of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, an organization based in Washington DC.

I recently had the opportunity to sit with four AmeriCorps members at one of their newly constructed picnic tables. They and five others arrived at Laudholm on March 27 and worked until April 17.

Kimberly, the group leader, graduated from Massachusetts Maritime Academy. She spent a month in leadership training and will stay with this group for the 10-month volunteer period. She provides overall supervision during their daytime and evening activities.

AmeriCorps volunteers are housed at Alheim Commons whenever possible. They receive a stipend and plan their own meals and shop for food. Each evening a volunteer or two serve as cooks. They admit this has been a learning experience for all.

While at Laudholm they are under the supervision of John Speight, Facility Manager. John meets with the group each morning and provides the instruction necessary to perform the day’s duties. The group exhibited pride in the newly constructed picnic tables. John spoke of how they learned to use available materials and work out a stable design. They have also worked on reinforcing old tables, removing invasive plants, constructing brush structures for potential rabbit habitat, repairing fences, maintaining trails, fixing the welcome hut, cleaning up the beach, putting up fencing to protect piping plovers, cleaning up the Alheim Commons parking lot, and filling sidewalk and roadway cracks and holes. In the process, they learn the requisite skills for working with others and the proper use of the tools and equipment involved.

After leaving the reserve the team moved on to Schoharie, New York, a town devastated by massive flooding from Hurricane Irene in August 2011.

Wells Reserve will continue to be an important waypoint in providing life experiences for these dedicated young people. They in turn provide a valuable service to Laudholm.  One member who had taken time off from college indicated he had decided to work in the area of non-profits as a result of his involvement. They all expressed an appreciation for John’s mentoring as they acquired new skills and the beauty of Wells Reserve at Laudholm.

A new AmeriCorps group arrived in late April and wraps up their service here this week. Should you see them as you explore the grounds and trails stop and say hello. I’m sure they’d appreciate a word of thanks for all that they are doing.

About AmeriCorps

NCCC*AmeriCorps members come from different backgrounds and parts of the country. They range in age from 18 to 24 years. Their prior experience can include anything from high school dropout to college graduate. They commit to ten months of service. If they complete 1700 hours of work in the non-profit sector they qualify for an Educational Award. This is a monetary award that is used to help further their education. Prior to their first service assignment they are trained in CPR, first aid, and public safety. Some had previously taken a course in woodland firefighting leading to certification in that skill. Their time at any given location can vary from several weeks to two months. In addition to providing service to non-profits, AmeriCorps works with local municipalities, state and federal entities, national parks, and Indian Tribes.

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