AmeriCorps Works at Wells
The Americorps Cedar 1 team taking a “Wells-deserved” break from working on a bog boardwalk through Wells Reserve conservation land. Photos courtesy of AmeriCorps NCCC members.
The fact that summer is a great time to #EscapetheIndoors was not lost on a team of young AmeriCorps volunteers who were at Maine’s Wells Reserve last June. During their stay, they thinned and planted trees, pulled invasive plants, improved trails, built a picnic table, and assisted with numerous other projects that benefited the Reserve and the surrounding community.
“I got a lot of experience from the variety of work at the Wells Reserve and I am very grateful for it,” says Dustin Posick, a team member from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, who joined AmeriCorps because he wanted to meet new people, travel, and help where needed. Dustin was one of ten volunteers who came from as far away as Redmond, Washington, and San Diego, California, to lend a hand.
AmeriCorps team member Dustin Posnik in the shop at the Wells Reserve.
“AmeriCorps teams always bring a youthful enthusiasm that invigorates our entire volunteer community,” says Lynne Benoit-Vachon, volunteer coordinator at Wells Reserve. “They go deep and accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.”
AmeriCorps Cedar 1 team focused on the 36-acre Yankee Woodlot, which the Reserve uses to demonstrate sustainable management practices that protect water quality, enhance wildlife habitat, and provide high quality timber. Among other tasks, they worked alongside Team Lorax—a group of Reserve volunteers—to remove invasive plants species from the Woodlot. They also helped the Wells Conservation Commission build a 76-foot bog bridge to prevent erosion on a wetlands wildlife trail near the reserve.
“It was great to see the mix of young people from different parts of the country experiencing Maine for the first time,” adds Lynne. “They not only advanced the Reserve’s restoration and natural resource management goals, they improved the experience of future visitors who can enjoy being outside in these beautiful places.”
Has your Reserve hosted an Americorps team? If not, be sure to check out the sponsorship opportunities offered by AmeriCorps NCCC Program, which supports service projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development.