Seven members of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) recently arrived at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park to begin work in the park for the next five weeks.
The team, with members hailing from California all the way to New York, will help to maintain and build trail within the park during their five-week assignment. Specifically, they will focus on a four-mile stretch of the Cumberland Trail, which begins just past the Tri-State Peak above the Cumberland Gap Tunnel and runs to Chattanooga. The trail will serve as a connector route between a longer 220-mile long trail linking state and national park areas, and numerous communities. The renovated trail will draw many new visitors with its scenic beauty atop a ridge overlooking the pristine Fern Lake.
"This is going to be a great trail once they're through with it," says Park Ranger and Volunteer Coordinator Scott Teodorski. "I think visitors new and old alike will find this to be one of their favorites in the park. I know it will be one of mine." The AmeriCorps team will also set up an information table at the Cumberland Gap NHP visitor center on Saturday, June 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. NCCC member Miguel Ortega will answer questions about the project, in addition to distributing information on the program to all interested.
AmeriCorps NCCC is a 10-month full-time, team-based national service program for men and women ages 18-24. They serve in five regions of the United States in communities, meeting needs in the areas of disaster services, environmental stewardship, energy conservation, urban and rural development and infrastructure improvement. NCCC members respond to disasters, construct homes, develop trails in state and national parks, mentor children and youth, oversee emergency shelters, lead volunteers and meet many other needs identified by communities. Members receive CPR and First Aid training, leadership coaching, project development, valuable work experience and an AmeriCorps education award of $5,550 that can be used to pay tuition or student loans.
NCCC is one of three AmeriCorps programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. Interested applicants can learn more at www.americorps.gov/nccc. For more information about this project or event, contact Joe McGrath at (585) 313-4730 or Andrew Golden (608) 669-1448.
For more information on the Friends of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and how to become more involved please visit www.friendsofcumberlandgap.org.