AmeriCorps members around the United States participate in community service efforts such as disaster relief, conservation projects and education programs. Utah is one of the top states for AmeriCorps participation.
Sean Damitz is the director of the Utah State University Center for Community Engagement, home to the Utah Conservation Corps.
“We’re the number four state in the country for AmeriCorps participation and that also kind of compliments where we’ve been for a state for the past decade or so with being the number state per capita in volunteerism,” Damitz said.
The Utah Conservation Corps is an AmeriCorps grantee and receives funding from AmeriCorps to support participants in the Conservation Corps program.
“We have AmeriCorps members all over the state doing natural resource conservation projects pretty typical to what you would think your old school Civilian Conservation Corps, CCC, did way back in the depression era,” Damitz said.
Some of these conservation projects include habitat restoration, trail work, and fuel reduction.
“We live in a beautiful state,” Damitz said, “and I think it shows that a lot of Utahns really appreciate what they have here in terms of their natural resources.”
Barbara Stewart is the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community service, the federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps program.
“Be it hands-on, boots-on-the-ground programming or capacity building programs, organizations throughout the country are really benefiting significantly from the work that AmeriCorps members are doing.”
Stewart says AmeriCorps participants also benefit from the program through the leadership and job skills they gain.