A Polk County native, Ericka traded in the familiar, ancient mountains of her childhood for the bourbon-filled Kentucky foothills to attend Berea College. After graduating, she pursued a career in animal care in Louisville. It didn’t take long for her to realize that animal care was not her calling, but her volunteer service at Jefferson Memorial Forest reinvigorated her love for the outdoors, recreation, volunteering, and the environment. That, her love of WNC, and her longing to be back in these glorious mountains led her to pursue an AmeriCorps Project Conserve position as Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate. Several years and many self-discoveries later, Ericka is serving at Conserving Carolina as the Membership Coordinator.

When not in the office, Ericka can be found working at Bubba O’Leary’s General Store and Outfitters in Chimney Rock, spending time with her six-year-old mutt Reiner, backpacking sections of the Appalachian Trail, or trying to get better at riding a bike (she didn’t learn until college).

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