Program provides opportunity for local organizations to add capacity for environmental work while training the next generation of environmental leaders
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Environmental Careers and Opportunities (ECO) AmeriCorps program is seeking partners interested in hosting a talented AmeriCorps member this coming 2017-2018 service year. Towns and organizations with identified environmental project and outreach needs are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants will be matched with an AmeriCorps member by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, which administers the program.
“ECO AmeriCorps has proven to be a tremendous resource in helping the state and our community partners achieve Vermont’s environmental goals,” comments Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore. “All of our members provide services and complete projects for the host sites that may otherwise go undone. The members truly are getting things done for the state of Vermont.”
More than 30 organizations have benefitted from working with ECO AmeriCorps since the program began in 2015, ranging from local watershed groups to the Vermont-based offices of federal agencies like the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. In the program’s first year alone, ECO AmeriCorps provided 32,700 hours of service to host sites, and organized 700 community volunteers who logged 5,840 hours of community-based work. Members serving during this current 2016-2017 service year are on pace to match or exceed these first-year accomplishments.
Applications are currently being accepted from municipalities, state and national governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations interested in acting as a service site. The deadline to apply is March 13. Applicants should identify projects where help is needed to protect and restore Vermont’s water quality or to reduce the amount of waste entering landfills. In past years, ECO members have served as Conservation Assistants, Volunteer Coordinators and Communications Specialists.
The Department provides administrative support for selected host sites, including providing living stipends, health insurance, and regular technical and professional development trainings 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 2017 to September 2018. Service sites provide a cash match of $6,500 for each AmeriCorps member they supervise.
ECO AmeriCorps is funded in part through an AmeriCorps state grant provided by SerVermont from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
To apply or find more information, visit the ECO AmeriCorps website at: http://ecoamericorps.vermont.gov.
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Photo Caption: ECO Members pose after a service project removing invasive species at Lake St. Catherine State Park during National Public Lands Day in September 2016.
About ECO AmeriCorps: The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation started the ECO AmeriCorps program in August 2015 to enrich the capacity of the Department and others to fulfill the “boots on the ground” work for much-needed environmental outreach or technical projects. The success of the ECO AmeriCorps program is built upon engaging Vermont communities in environmental protection by leveraging and supporting ECO AmeriCorps members in organizations across the state.