Virginia is thrilled to welcome AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) teams to the cities of Norton and Richmond to tackle large-scale outdoor improvement projects! The City of Norton will utilize their NCCC team (Aug. 23-Oct. 14) to complete the remaining 1.4 miles of a trail that is part of a larger mountain biking/hiking trail system. Over the past few years, the waning Southwest Virginia coal industry has resulted in devastating job losses for the region. The City of Norton has been taking steps to diversify its economy by developing its natural landscape for tourism and outdoor recreation. Norton, which lies at the base of the highest point in Cumberland County (High Knob), makes it an ideal location to invest resources into the development of a large mountain biking and hiking trail system on the north shoulder of the mountain (about 1,000 acres). AmeriCorps NCCC teams have been deployed previously to help with this development effort.
In Richmond, a NCCC team will tackled extensive clean-up of historic East End and Evergreen Cemeteries, Sept. 22-Oct. 14. The burial grounds, which are home to the graves of some of our country's most important African Americans, have suffered severe neglect and vandalism over the years. (Evergreen Cemetery was Richmond's first African-American cemetery!) The NCCC team will meet the community's need to preserve historic assets on public land. The AmeriCorps members will clear debris from the gravesites, mark and identify problem trees, create burial records that will be logged into genealogy and educational databases, and assist in the coordination and running of a Community Cleanup Day to promote volunteer efforts. They will also create a volunteer handbook of best practices to guide the ongoing restoration process.
NCCC strengthens communities and develops leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. Members (ages 18-24) are full-time and temporarily reside in the areas they serve. We look forward to welcoming these teams to the Commonwealth this fall!