AmeriCorps members present their projects

ALPENA – Huron Pines AmeriCorps members were at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center Friday morning to showcase the different programs each of the 21 AmeriCorps members have been working on. Each member set up a table with storyboards and information about their projects, ranging from invasive species monitoring to rivershed conservation and protection.

“Huron Pines AmeriCorps members volunteer for a year or six months to get involved with different organizations in Northeast Michigan,” Huron Pines LeaderCorps member Claire Wood said. “We all work to get things done. The AmeriCorps is similar to a domestic Peace Corps, where members donate their time and are passionate about the work they are doing.”

Members had brochures, kids activities and service project information available for visitors to browse through and take home, along with a variety of first-hand experiences to share with the public about their time with AmeriCorps.

“We’ve engaged over 4,000 students in environmental education since January,” AmeriCorps Coordinator Jennie Jandron said. “There are over 1,500 volunteers that work with AmeriCorps members in northern Michigan.”

The Huron Pines AmeriCorps branch is the only “on-the-ground” conservation-focused branch of AmeriCorps. Others focus on schools and education of different sources other than environmental.

“Joining the AmeriCorps is a good way to get your foot in the door and get experience in something you are interested in,” Wood said. “A lot of people involved with AmeriCorps in an area stay around that area, and are often offered a job in the program they were working with. It’s a good start for anyone who wants to get involved with service and conservation.”

AmeriCorps members get a living stipend while in service, along with a grant for education and professional development opportunities. New members can start in January and be involved for 10 months, or start in May and be in service for six months.

For more information about Huron Pines, visit www.HuronPines.org, or to learn more about the AmeriCorps, visit www.AmeriCorps.gov.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.