Pictured left to right: Blake Taylor, Claire Manchester, Kayleigh Gregory, Molly Bilinski, Faith James, and Jeremy Wattles, Assistant Administrator, Center of Community Engagement and Service Learning.
While other college students spent their spring break on a beach down south, students from Pocahontas State Park. The group of five young adults spent the week assisting park staff with repairing an old Civilian Conservation Corps cabin that will house an AmeriCorps volunteer. The group painted the exterior and interior of the cabin and performed special projects to give the cabin a homey feel.
When asked why they chose to spend their spring break volunteering with a state park, they all shared a common theme of giving back to the community by performing community service projects. Others talked about their love of the outdoors and camping.
An alternative spring break program places teams of college students in communities to engage in service and experiential learning during their spring breaks. Students volunteering for state parks perform short term projects at a state park of their choice. For more information on the Virginia State Parks’ alternative spring break program, click here.
In 2010, VSP was awarded a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service to fund the VSP Interpretive Project by providing an AmeriCorps volunteer to all 34 parks. The VSP Interpretive Project was developed to assist parks with increasing environment educational programming. An AmeriCorps volunteer will be part of a team that designs and leads education programs, recruits new park volunteers and interacts with park visitors. AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health and the environment.