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AmeriCorps NCCC Team helps restore Great Smoky Mountains National Park after wildfire
FEBRUARY 15, 2017 at 6:41 p.m.

americorps NCCC team
AmeriCorps NCCC Team helps restore areas of Great Smoky Mountains National Park damaged by wildfire. Image courtesy of AmeriCorps NCCC.

CHEROKEE, NC and GATLINBURG, TN – An AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team, River 3, is serving with Great Smoky Mountains National Park until Thursday, March 9.

The NCCC team of 10 members from the Southern Region campus in Vicksburg, Miss. is working to maintain and rehabilitate trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The team is also assisting with environmental recovery in response to the wildfire in Gatlinburg.

The members are hiking out to work to clear drains, clear debris from the wildfire, and perform routine maintenance. The team is also treating for invasive species in the park to protect the Eastern Hemlock Trees. Each day, River 3 is hiking to their worksite on either the North Carolina or Tennessee side of the park to leave their mark.

“These mountains, this park, it’s all beautiful. I can’t wait to see the beauty on the trails, on the ground, and on top of the highest mountain,” said Nikki Ottens, River 3 Media Representative.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park is home to over 850 miles of trails maintained by the National Park System.

The NCCC team, River 3, is based out of Vicksburg, Miss., but consists of members from around the country. After completing their service with Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the members of the team will deploy to Greensboro, Ala., for their next service project.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 1,200 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, Members – 18 to 24 years old — work on teams of 8 to 12 on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Members mentor students, construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, clean up streams, help communities develop emergency plans, and address countless other local needs. The Southern Region campus in Vicksburg is one of five regional hubs in the United States and serves eleven states in the southeast part of the country. The other campuses are located in Denver, Colorado; Sacramento, California; Baltimore, Maryland; and Vinton, Iowa.

In exchange for their service, Corps Members receive $5,815 to help pay for college or to pay back existing student loans. All program expenses are covered, including a small living allowance as well as room and board. Members also receive leadership development, increased self-confidence, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. The Corporation improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at .

Published February 15, 2017

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