Our mission is to serve western North Carolina by building stronger, more educated and involved communities that understand the threats to their local environment, are equipped with the tools and resources to take direct conservation action, and have significant opportunities to engage in conservation activities through volunteering. Through the efforts of these dedicated communities and the direct service of AmeriCorps Project Conserve members, we hope to ultimately achieve greater community understanding of conservation and the environment and increase support for, and sustainable improvements to, at-risk ecosystems in western North Carolina.
Administered by Conserving Carolina, Project Conserve is a National Service program in which members come from across the nation to dedicate themselves to serving critical environmental and community needs in western North Carolina. Members are selected based on skill, education, experience, passion and commitment to service. The program focuses on collaboration with nonprofit organizations, community groups and local governments to provide service throughout the region.
Project Conserve individually places members in service with one of our host site organizations working to protect the unique natural resources of the southern Blue Ridge Mountain region. During their terms of service members will promote conservation through education, volunteerism, and direct environmental service. Members participate in 1 to 3 required training and service days per month with the full Project Conserve team. Training may cover a broad range of topics including wilderness first aid, CPR/AED, conflict resolution, forest management, trail construction, invasive plant identification, environmental education, volunteer management, and disaster preparedness
We will begin recruiting for positions starting in September 2019 in March/April 2019.
Summer of Service is a 9-week, 300-hour program for local youth between the ages of 17 and 19. The program was founded in the summer of 2017 as an initiative designed to help build confidence, trust, teamwork, environmental, and service-oriented ethics. Participants will expand their toolbox of potential while being introduced to educational and career paths they may not have otherwise considered. Members will build skills and experience through trail construction, non-native invasive species control, and other land management initiatives in the outdoors.
AmeriCorps Project Conserve and Summer of Service are administered by Conserving Carolina, formerly Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, and funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service in the office of Governor Roy Cooper, and the critical support of our host sites and community partners.
A Decade Of Impact
AmeriCorps Project Conserve has a long legacy of service and conservation in western North Carolina. The initiative was spearheaded and administered by Conserving Carolina, formerly Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, which hosted an AmeriCorps member through a different program in the early 2000s. This experience spurred the organization to start a program that could actively support its work in land conservation and the work of other environmental and conservation organizations throughout the region. The program began in 2004 with thirteen AmeriCorps members serving in seven host sites around Hendersonville and Asheville.
Since 2004, over 300 AmeriCorps Project Conserve members have graduated from the program. These members have collectively:
- Recruited more than 10,000 community volunteers who served more than 60,000 hours
- Educated over 91,000 youth and adults
- Improved 700 miles of rivers and trails
- Improved nearly 500 acres of public land