Getting hiking boots on the ground at Mount Jefferson

(The following was submitted by Cameron Tingkang, an AmeriCorps team member.)

A team with the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), an AmeriCorps program, is working with New River State Park to supervise and conduct trail construction at Mountain Jefferson State Natural Area.

The intent of the team of AmeriCorps members is to add three miles of new trail at Mount Jefferson.

For seven weeks, eight team members will work alongside local volunteer groups and individual volunteers to build trail segments on the mountain. The team, Delta 1, will help preserve and protect examples of natural beauty as well as provide outdoor recreation activities in a safe environment. The team aims to add three miles to the existing trail system at the park and double the length of any other existing trail systems in the county.

“Having the AmeriCorps NCCC team has been a tremendous asset. They are progressing well with the trail project and have demonstrated some amazing trail-building skills,” said Joe Shimel, superintendent of New River State Park and Mount Jefferson State Natural Area. “This is a hard working team that is providing the grit and boots on the ground needed to get this trail open in the near future.”

The Delta 1 NCCC team is based in Vicksburg, Miss., but consists of members from all over the country. After completing their work with the state parks, members will return to Vicksburg for several days before deploying to their next project.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential service program in which 1,200 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, corps members work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development.

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