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Filtering by Category: AmeriCorps

Reflections from AmeriCorps NCCC Earth 4 Team Member, Myrna Lincoln

Alden Larrick

It has been an unforgettable experience working with Ecology Action.  My team and I had the chance to camp in what I think is the coolest bit of land just south of the city at Circle Acres. This reclaimed landfill is now a thriving wetland and a sanctuary to many birds and native plants. It has been the most refreshing experience to be so close to nature but at the same time close to the city.

My team and I did the majority of our work at Ecology Actions’ drop off recycling center. Personally this was my first exposure to the after life of “trash”. Previously my ideas about the material I was throwing away ended at the trashcan, or the one stream-recycling bin, eventually to be forgotten about. My hands on experience with Ecology Action has taught me a great deal about the materials we are using and how they can and cannot be recycled. Moreover how communities and consumers can come together to effectively produce the smallest amount of waste.

It has been a privilege to work alongside TJ, Alden, Joaquin and Carlos. Their attitudes, knowledge, and commitment to reclaimation and sustainability have been inspiring.  I look forward to the great things Ecology Action is going to accomplish.

“The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.”– JFK

To learn more about the AmeriCorps NCCC program, please visit their website! We hope to have the opportunity to work with many more AmeriCorps NCCC teams in the future.

Reflections from the AmeriCorps Earth 6 Team

Alden Larrick

Ecology Action has already had the privilege of meeting two AmeriCorps teams in 2015! Earth 6 left last Thursday and Earth 4 arrived on Friday. Due to the unpredictable winter weather, Earth 6 spent the first few weeks of their stay here in Austin at Camp Mabry, finally moving into their campsite at the Circle Acres in their last week. During their stay, they have been able to experience all that EA has to offer from daily operations at the Recycling Center to workdays at Circle Acres.

To get a better feel for what it's like to be an AmeriCorps team member working at EA, we asked a couple of them to write a reflection piece encompassing the whole experience. Funny, informative, and wholly inspiring, here's what they had to say:

Chloe:

This project has been a wonderful experience, much more than I expected. Coming into it I was a bit upset we weren't camping but as soon as we started work all my worries went away. The work was incredibly diverse and fulfilling, and I feel like I've learned so much over the past six weeks. From the weeks spent at the Recycling Center and Circle Acres learning the true importance of landfill diversion; to the week spent at the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve developing an appreciation for endangered species and the work that goes into keeping them alive and well. Ecology action is a creative and inspiring non-profit organization that I've been blessed to work with. I will always remember the service I did in, Austin, Texas, and I look forward to seeing Circle Acres become a tool to teach future generations about the importance of protecting to world around them.

Hunter: 

From putting the roof on a pavilion to pulling a mattress off of a hill to wondering if we could all have a man-bun as glorious as Joaquin's, there is never a dull moment working with Ecology Action. For me, at least, coming from an environment where single-stream recycling (if any recycling) is pretty commonplace, seeing a recycling center involve the community in the sorting process, making them think a little more about what happens to their recycling and just what goes into making reusable items, was fascinating.

In the same vein of community involvement, the idea of turning a landfill into a nature preserve to be used to educate the community about how we view and use land was hugely motivational to the team. Everyone wanted to be a part of seeing Circle Acres take off, and I think everyone realized very quickly just how difficult something like that can be.

We are the third Americorps NCCC team to come and work with Ecology Action, and we will not be the last. It was a privilege to work with Ecology Action and even spend a few days with the Balcones Canyon Preserve team assisting them with habitat restoration. It has been such a positive experience for our team, and though we are leaving Austin, we are all taking with us a greater awareness of how land restoration works, and a different way of looking at waste.

If you are interested in learning more about the Americorps NCCC program, visit their program website here or get in touch with us!

The Americorps NCCC Sun 4 Team

Ecology Action

Ecology Action was once again privileged enough to receive a team from the Americorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) program. NCCC teams are made up of 10-12 young people who travel the country working on exciting and important community based projects. This team has been focusing primarily on the completion of the Circle Acres Nature Preserve remediation project as well the as the construction of the first meeting space outlined in the Circle Acres Master Plan. They have made some incredible headway having completed all of the site's roughly 1.5 miles of trails and they have broken ground on the meeting space with the 2,000 square foot building site cleared and 16 massive holes dug for the foundations. 

This has been one of our best NCCC teams yet, bringing a ton of energy and enthusiasm to every day of work. They are camping on-site at Circle Acres during their stay here and have developed a pretty awesome little village in the clearing just in front of the building site. These are some hard core young people who take their individual commitments to community service very seriously. We are incredibly proud to have the opportunity to host and get to know them and will be very sad to see them go at the end of next week. The good news is, we were just notified that we will be receiving two more teams in the new year who will be working with us at Circle Acres from January until April. Look for more news from the this and future teams here and on our facebook page. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Americorps NCCC program, visit their program website here or get in touch with us and we would love to introduce you to the team.