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AmeriCorps Crews Working at Slide Rock State Park

A team of young adults has been working in Northern Arizona, restoring the apple orchard at Slide Rock State Park.

Upon arriving from their headquarters in Denver, this AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team received training to identify which species needed to be removed and instructions for operating machinery such as wood chippers. These species include New Mexico locust and blackberry shrubs which have overcrowded the orchard, making it nearly impossible to harvest the apples.

The SRSP manages about 43 acres in total and approximately 15 acres of apple orchard, the AmeriCorps NCCC team will be working to remove the unwanted plants and create mulch to help keep the apple trees cool, lock in moisture, and prevent the reoccurrence of the unwelcome species.

“We are really excited about this project,” said NCCC Corps Member, Sari Haskell. “It has been really fun working in such a beautiful area and seeing our progress at the end of each work day.”

The whole team is ecstatic about helping the Sedona community, and will be in the area until the weekend of November 25th. The AmeriCorps NCCC members working on this project began their term of service in mid-October. In the past month, Corps Members have been receiving trainings in First Aid, CPR, and Disaster Response through the American Red Cross and performed a variety of service projects including trail building, tree plantings, Halloween decorating, and working with organizations such as the Park People, the Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Volunteers Outdoor Colorado (VOC) in the Denver, Colorado area.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which approximately 1,500 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, Corps Members – all 18 to 24 years old – work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address compelling, self-identified community needs. These projects, usually lasting six to eight weeks each, support the environment, infrastructure improvement, energy conservation, urban and rural development, and immediate and continuing disaster response. AmeriCorps NCCC has responded to every national disaster since the program began in 1994. The Southwest Region campus in Denver is one of five regional hubs in the United States and serves 8 states in the southwest part of the country. The other campuses are located in Perry Point, Md., Vicksburg, Miss., Vinton, Iowa, and Sacramento, Calif.

In exchange for their service, Corps Members receive $5,350 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, increased self-confidence, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.

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