Virginia has been 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 utilized their NCCC team recently to work on the completion of 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. This team was recently deployed from Virginia to Ft. Myers, Florida, as part of the Hurricane Irma Mission Assignment. Before they left, the team was able to accomplish a great deal of work on the area's Magnolia Trail. We hope to see another NCCC team back in the region in the future!
In Richmond, a NCCC team is tackling the extensive clean-up of historic East End and Evergreen Cemeteries, Sept. 22-Oct. 14. In an exciting recent announcement, this team will have their efforts continue by another team from mid-November to mid-December! 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 is working to preserve historic assets on public land. The AmeriCorps members is clearing debris from the gravesites, marking and identifying problem trees, creating burial records that will be logged into genealogy and educational databases, and assisting in the coordination and running of a Community Cleanup Day to promote volunteer efforts. They are also creating 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.
Does your community have a need for an AmeriCorps NCCC team? Applications are open for teams to deploy in January. Find out more.