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.
AmeriCorps Project Conserve is a National Service program in which members come from across the nation to dedicate themselves to serving western North Carolina for an 11 month service term. Members are selected based on skill, education, experience, passion and commitment to service. Project Conserve was founded in September of 2004 as an initiative of Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) to respond to the growing conservation needs in western North Carolina. The program focuses on collaboration with nonprofit organizations, community groups and local governments to provide service throughout the region.
Our Host Sites include Appalachian Voices, Asheville GreenWorks, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, Conserving Carolina, EcoForesters, Environmental Quality Institute, Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Mills River Partnership, MountainTrue, Organic Growers School, Polk County Office of Agricultural Economic Development, Polk County Recreation Department, RiverLink, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, The North Carolina Arboretum Society, Town of Lake Lure, and the Hemlock Restoration Initiative of WNC Communities.
AmeriCorps Project Conserve is 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.
- Program Years Completed – 11
- Members Graduated – 196
- Members Returned for Second Term – 30
- WNC Counties Served – 23
- Hours Served – 410,000
- Host Site Organizations – 40
- People Educated – 45,000
- Volunteer Hours Leveraged – 28,400
- Alumni Employed by Past or Current Host Sites – 32