This week is AmeriCorps Week and to celebrate, I’ve put together a list of the amazing AmeriCorps members who have served as volunteers at the foundation over the last two years. They’ve done everything from mucking barns to building bluebird nest boxes, and we owe the success of several programs to their dedication and support. I will never fail to get excited when I see an e-mail from an AmeriCorps group in my inbox, and I hope to continue partnering with these special people for years to come.
The Spruce 6 FEMA Corps team volunteered twice during the Spring of 2013 and accomplished an incredible amount during those few hours. On their first trip to the site, they attended the Earthfest volunteer event and cleared an entire fence line on the National Colonial Farm of the multiflora rose vines threatening to pull it down. As if that wasn’t enough, they came back again to assist livestock manager, Polly, with repairing the barnyard fence and creating new paths in and out of the barn.
3.) Blue 1, AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps
Blue 1 joined the Ecosystem Farm crew on July 20, 2013 to help clear invasives off of the farm fence and harvest produce for the CSA. Working on a farm in the middle of July is hard work, but these AmeriCorps members went above and beyond to make sure the work got done.
4.) Summit 2, AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps
On February 1, 2014, Summit 2 joined other Service Saturday volunteers to clean up the Maintenance Barn and build gravel boxes for the foundation’s recycle bins. Their enthusiasm for the task at hand had all of the volunteers smiling and working together by the end of the project, despite starting the day as strangers.
5.) Tundra 3, AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps
Last September, the Tundra 3 team served as event support volunteers during the first annual Food For Thought festival. Working the children’s activity table, they painted faces and assisted kids as they made vegetable stamps and corn husk dolls. It was a huge success and the kids at the event kept coming back for more fun!
6.) Volunteer Maryland, Class 27, AmeriCorps State
Class 27 of Volunteer Maryland joined us on October 3, 2014 to complete three separate service projects. Part of the group helped make repairs on the Ecosystem Farm’s greenhouse, part of the group applied a coating of “witches brew” (a mixture of pine tar, linseed oil, and turpentine which helps protect the wood) to the tobacco barn, and part of the group helped gather and sort seed from the heirloom crops grown in the Museum Garden. With so many dedicated hands, we were able to tackle and finish a huge amount of work.
7.) Spruce 5, AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps
Last month, Spruce 5 team member, Joshua Nelson, recruited volunteers from Girl Scout Troop 860 to help us build a frame for a new chicken coop. Josh and the girls worked very hard to finish the entire frame in one morning, and the new chickens on the Ecosystem Farm are now happily adjusting to their new home.
8.) Hickory 3, AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps
On March 7, Hickory 3 came out to help us build new nest boxes for the Ken Otis Bluebird Trail. Despite a last minute change in plans due to the snow, these AmeriCorps members measure, cut, and assembled 6 new nest boxes in just three hours. As the bluebirds begin building their nest in the next couple of weeks, I know they’ll be grateful for the new boxes to protect their nests from the wet spring weather.