“I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.” There are perhaps no better words that can be used in this last line of the AmeriCorps Pledge. Interestingly enough getting things done seems like a befitting mantra for the people in the communities of the Red River Basin.

    Corpsmembers serving in communities from Cooperstown to Karlstad and Fargo to Fosston have given of their time and talents to fight illiteracy, improve reading and math skills, increase housing opportunities, enhance natural resources, and promote environmental stewardship. Nationally 75,000 individuals ages 18 and older have made a commitment to serve in over 21,000 communities. Since Americorps creation in 1994, 1.3 billion service hours have been completed. That is a lot of getting things done.

    AmeriCorps week, March 8-14, is a time to celebrate all things AmeriCorps - to thank previous members for their service, and to recruit additional members to join the cause.

    AmeriCorps members serve in public and non-profit partnerships that enhance job skills and improve community resources. In exchange, Americorps is able to provide a living stipend and a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon completion of the service term. AmeriCorps alumni credit their service for developing leadership skills that bridges divides, solves problems, and opens doors to opportunities that advance their careers and education.

    Through my AmeriCorps service with the Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa in 2019 I was able to collect over 605 surface water stream samples for statewide monitoring programs of the MPCA and MDA. Additionally, I was able to present watershed education programs to approximately 1,700 students in the Red River Basin. My year of service has increased my understanding of the importance of collaboration and need for community resources.

    If you or someone you know could benefit from serving with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa, your encouragement might be all they would need. There are over 300 positions open now including summer and partial year service terms with opportunities to serve in urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout Minnesota and Iowa. Consider Conservation Corps to gain valuable experience after completion of high school or college or as a gap year. To learn more about available positions, visit: www.conservationcorps.org/apply.