Rural Action’s Ohio Stream Restore Corps
Building on our 20 years of experience with the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps*VISTA, Rural Action launched its inaugural Rural Action Watersheds AmeriCorps program focusing on watershed restoration in Appalachia Ohio in 2009. Rural Action watershed groups partnered with three other existing watershed groups to form a regional program designed to increase the impact of watershed restoration efforts in the Appalachian counties of Ohio.
In the 2011-12 term, the Rural Action Watersheds program underwent an expansion to 14 members and was renamed Ohio Stream Restore Corps, adding three new sectors of work- Environmental Education, Zero Waste, and Trail Maintenance/Access. Environmental Education activities have brought outdoor learning experiences to thousands of youth, trail Access/Maintenance has created or improved miles of trails, Zero Waste activities have cleaned up illegal dump sites and educated the public on local recycling options.Watershed restoration activities such as sampling and installation of treatment systems have documented higher pH levels and new fish species in streams previously uninhabitable.
In the fall of 2012, Ohio Stream Restore Corps was honored to receive the ServeOhio Outstanding National and Community Service Program award for Ohio. In 2014 the program built its membership to 26 and expanded it’s focus to include Heritage and Eco Tourism. By adding this sector to the work, we envision more economic opportunities for local communities through civic engagement and sustainable tourism. Under the administration of ServeOhio, Ohio’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, AmeriCorps members meet critical needs of six priority areas, Education, Opportunities, Healthy Futures, Veterans, Disaster Services and Environmental Stewardship. Through their direct service and the volunteers they mobilize, AmeriCorps members help build the capacity of local communities to help themselves. Communities benefit from having better schools, access to healthy food, a cleaner environment and increased citizen engagement. Along with serving the community, members gain leadership and career skills, earn money for higher education, and learn how to be active citizens. Ohio Stream Restore Corps (OSRC) applications for the 2017-18 term will begin being accepted February 1, 2017 for an August 16th start date.