Building on the success of its first three years, the Environmental Careers and Opportunities (ECO) AmeriCorps program is seeking new members and program partners. The program, part of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), is currently accepting applications for new members and program partners. The deadline for partners to apply is March 16. Member applications are accepted through March 30. Applications are available at: http://ecoamericorps.vermont.gov.
ECO AmeriCorps members serve with municipalities, state and national governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations throughout the state where they help protect, enhance, maintain and restore Vermont’s water quality and reduce the amount of waste entering our landfills. All ECO AmeriCorps members must have some college experience, and preference is given to applicants with at least a 4-year degree. Previous members have served in positions as Conservation Assistants, Volunteer Coordinators and Communications Specialists, to name a few. Current projects include creating homeowner workshops and maps to minimize impervious surfaces, providing instructions for residential rain gardens, and restoring riparian buffers, and many more.
In the program’s 2016-17 service year, ECO members:
- Completed 40,942 service hours to the state of Vermont,
- Organized, recruited, supervised and/or supported 778 community volunteers who logged 5,355 hours of volunteer service,
- Provided environmental stewardship education to 3,245 Vermonters, and
- Improved more than 25 miles of rivers and nearly 350 acres of public land.
Members in the current 2017-2018 service year are on pace to match or exceed these impressive accomplishments.
“ECO AmeriCorps members are a tremendous resource for our state and for our community partners, working together to care for and steward Vermont’s lands and waters,” said DEC Commissioner Emily Boedecker. “All of our members provide services and complete projects that may otherwise go undone. Not only do they take great pride in their work, develop valuable skills, and build relationships, they also make a lasting impact on Vermont. I look forward to meeting our next cohort as they build on the accomplishments of the program’s first three years.”
DEC provides administrative support for the program including providing living stipends, health insurance, and regular training for members. Service sites are responsible for providing meaningful projects, supervision and support, a work space, equipment, and supplies. Members are required to serve a minimum of 1,700 hours during their 11 months of service from August 2018 to September 2019. Service sites provide a cash match of $7,000 for each AmeriCorps member they supervise.
ECO AmeriCorps members earn a modest living allowance of $16,500 paid bi-weekly for the duration of their 11-months of service. Members are also eligible to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,920 at the completion of the program to further their education or to pay off existing student loans.
ECO AmeriCorps is funded in part through an AmeriCorps state grant provided by SerVermont from the Corporation for National and Community Service. More information is available on the ECO AmeriCorps website at http://ecoamericorps.vermont.gov.
Image Caption/Credit: 2017-18 ECO AmeriCorps members are joined by Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore during program orientation last September/ANR