Over the last 5 years, the Itasca Moraine and Laurentian Lakes Chapters have utilized Americorps-NCCC crews to help build and/or enhance portions of the North Country Trail here in northcentral Minnesota. The latest crew – Class XIX Oak 4 – just left last week. While in Minnesota working from 9/3 – /26, they finished a variety of NCT projects. These included:
- Trail tread repair, campsite enhancement, and signage improvements in the Chippewa National Forest
- Construction of the new Lake 21 loop trail in the Paul Bunyan State Forest
- Trail maintenance within the Paul Bunyan State Forest
The crew also volunteered at a local history museum in Park Rapids on weekends and completed projects around the Northern Pines United Methodist Church Camp, where they stayed. See some of the photos below of the Oak 4 Team at work.
The Americorps-NCCC program is currently accepting project applications for 2014 work. See the excerpt from their announcement below…
“Do you have projects that you’ve been trying to complete for a long time or a special project that you could use assistance completing? Could the energy of a team of 8-12 young adults help you complete them? AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is a full time team based national service program. We work with non-profit organizations, federal, state and local agencies, and Native American tribes to complete projects that typically last 6 – 8 weeks. NCCC members in the past have tutored students, constructed low-income housing, built and repaired trails, completed weatherization projects, managed community volunteers, and worked on disaster prevention, relief and recovery projects.”
What isn’t mentioned above is that the Americorps-NCCC crews come at no charge to the project sponsor. Wait…what? An energetic crew of 8-12 young adult volunteers working on the NCT for 6-8 weeks for free??? Yes!
NCTA chapters can successfully host a crew and get a lot of great work done while also meeting some dedicated volunteers interested in bettering their nation! Requirements for a chapter/affiliate include:
- Securing housing for the crew (can be tenting when facilities are nearby but indoor lodging is preferred)
- Providing a site supervisor daily for the length of the project
- Providing any required specialized tools and materials
- Providing a worthwhile project that will enhance the local community (sounds like the North Country Trail, right?)
The projects can include a great variety of tasks from building new trail segments, maintaining existing trail, building trail structures, or a combination of these tasks. Learn more about hosting a crew at their website or by contacting your local NCCC office (the Atlantic Region office for PA and NY and the North Central Region Office for the rest of the NCT).