As a member of the Virginia Service and Conservation Corp, there is no such thing as a normal day on the job
A variety of service
Tasks, locations, projects and resources are constantly changing, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. So far we have completed projects involving trail building and maintenance, boundary marking, removing invasive vines, building fire line, removing old roads and repairing and creating new fencing.
Our term of service thus far, has not only allowed us to gain experience serving in Virginia State Parks, but has also allowed us to gain experience serving with a hardworking, diverse group of individuals in a team setting, each of us taking on different group roles.
Pocahontas Crew worked hard to remove vines at the Mulberry Mansion, located at
Staunton River Battlefield State Park
Hard work, determination and great teamwork
In the image above one may see a large pile of twisted thorns and vines, but our crew sees hard work, determination and great teamwork, that allowed us to create this massive vine pile in just two days.
The pile consists of Virginia Creeper and Japanese Honey Suckle, removed from Box Wood trees atStaunton River Battlefield State Park. It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when eight individuals unite as a team!
Biggest challenge thus far
Shown below is one of the most physically and mentally challenging days we have experienced thus far, but definitely the most rewarding…
We were told to remove a portion of Spillway Trail, one of the only ADA (handicap accessible) trails at Pocahontas State Park. The portion we were to remove led to a dam at Pocahontas State Park’s Beaver Lake. This project was vital, in order to keep visitors from the dangers of getting too close to the dam. The asphalt was extremely heavy and difficult to pry from the ground, but with the use of rock bars, sledge hammers physical and mental strength as well as encouragement from the crew, we were able to remove the road in no time.
We surprised ourselves not only by the speed and efficiency of the project, but also by how much we enjoyed reaching this accomplishment.
The heavy asphalt didn’t stop the Pocahontas Crew from getting the job done!
Bridging the gap
High Bridge State Park has been one of our favorite locations, where Chief Ranger Chad Shelters, allowed us to work on a variety of different projects. We marked park boundaries, repaired trails, injected tree stumps and even created a brand new trail of our own, shown in the image below. This was our first week at a service site, and provided us with an excellent introduction into what we would be doing for the remainder of our service, giving us a broad overview of what each project entails.
Chief Ranger Chad even supplied us with hot tea and coffee every morning, giving us that extra push to take on the day.
Pocahontas Crew enjoying a morning walk on High Bridge before diving into a fun day on the trail
Skills and strength
We are constantly becoming stronger as a team and as individuals through our broadened skill sets and time spent together. Yes, some days are more difficult than others, but each serves as a learning experience, and a test of our strengths. We look forward to new projects and are excited to tackle anything that comes our way.
In just a couple months we have not only developed new skills we will carry on for the rest of our lives, but life long bonds and friendships as well.