"This is an amazing place. The refuge is so beautiful and it’s a really great project to cap my year with AmeriCorps. Thank you.”
-- Avery Doninger
RETURNING TO CT
AmeriCorps team works stint at Noxubee Refuge
Tuesday, 07 July 2009
Anyone who has visited the Noxubee Refuge lately may have noticed some young people running around the Refuge, wearing khakis and gray shirts.
Who are these people? They are the AmeriCorps NCCC team that has come to assist the Refuge staff on a number of projects. The Corps Members are based out of Denver, Colo., but hail from many different states, including Georgia, New York, Massachussetts and Minnesota.
AmeriCorps is a federally sponsored program through which young people dedicate 10 months of their lives to going around the country doing community service through the Corporation for National and Community Service. After completing the program, they receive get a monetary award that they can use for future education expenses or to pay off some of their college debt.
Their stint at the Noxubee Refuge is this AmeriCorps team’s last project.
Previously, the team had worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Texas helping in the Hurricane Ike relief effort and in the Denver Public Schools tutoring elementary school students in an attempt to improve their standardized test scores.
The AmeriCorps team worked on a variety of projects on the Refuge, officials say.
The first week the team members were at the Refuge, they worked on marking boundary lines with Bobby Gentry.
The team members have also helped with animal habitat restoration, made new signs, cut out bluebird boxes, painted the fences, built the new 500-foot Bluff Lake boardwalk, scrubbed and water sealed all the old boardwalks, re-roofed three old buildings, replaced old carpet and mildewed walls in the old conference room, restored over 24 acres of land for new hardwood forests, tagged wood ducks and assisted in the canoe day this past Saturday, as well as the women’s fishing derby, kids’ fishing derby and Shriners’ fishing derby.
They have also learned a lot about the environment and history of the area.
The team members unanimously agree that their stay at the Noxubee Refuge has been their favorite service project.
Refuge Manager Henry Sansing, said, “I’ve seen them out on the trails, even on their time off, with bird books in hand trying to identify the birds. One of the girls, Avery Doninger from Connecticut, even told me, ‘This is an amazing place. The refuge is so beautiful and it’s a really great project to cap my year with AmeriCorps. Thank you.”
Sansing said, “I have been very impressed with their enthusiasm and work ethic. We’re very lucky to have them.”