For Immediate Release

AmeriCorps member Johna Metcalf painting community buildings during Make a Difference Day.

AmeriCorps member Johna Metcalf painting community buildings during Make a Difference Day.

The Plains, Ohio – Rural Action’s National Service program is growing. This program has been instrumental in restoring 74 miles of previously dead streams to livable habitat, diverting 36,000 pounds of trash from landfills, and educating more than 86,000 people in Appalachian Ohio since 2016 is about to increase its ability to “get things done.”

Rural Action’s Appalachian Ohio Restore Corps (AORC) is working with ServeOhio, the Ohio Commission on Service and Volunteerism to grow from 31 National Service members to 70, an increase that will enable it to expand its work to focus on addressing the climate crisis to increase community resilience.

“A vital part of climate mitigation in our region is going to come from people doing service,” says Johna Metcalf, an AmeriCorps member serving with Rural Action’s Northern Programs in New Philadelphia, Ohio. “People volunteering their time while being supported financially and professionally are going to save lives in the future and raise living standards. That is why service is so important to me, and why I am so thrilled to see Rural Action expanding its service programs!”

AORC places AmeriCorps members with organizations throughout the region, ranging from Camp Oty’Okwa to the Muskingum Valley Parks District to United Plant Savers. These members serve terms ranging from 9 weeks to one year and receive a stipend, benefits, and an educational award for their service.

On Raccoon Creek, AORC members maintain the doser that adjust pH levels in the water, an initiative that has helped spur a dramatic return of aquatic life to the stream. During canoe floats and day camps, they teach children about the importance of the natural world. And at recycling events in Athens, Hocking, Perry, Tuscarawas, Washington, and other counties throughout the region, they collect tires, medical supplies, mattresses and various materials that can be recycled, reused, or upcycled rather than ending up in a landfill.

The AORC expansion will allow the program to continue these efforts – and more. The climate crisis will affect everyone and predictions show our region will experience increased flooding, potential crop failures, loss of biodiversity, and food insecurity. AmeriCorps members are rallying to address these impacts. AORC has already been a key factor in creating a food hub at Chesterhill Produce Auction that distributes fresh, local produce throughout the region, providing markets for local farmers and healthy food in areas that have been labeled “food deserts.” Bolstering these efforts will be a key part of the AmeriCorps expansion to address the climate crisis.

AORC is currently recruiting AmeriCorps members. Learn more about the opportunity here:

If you’d like to talk about other opportunities to assist or work with AmeriCorps, contact Bryn Sowash at

Rural Action is a regional community development organization with a 32-county footprint working with members and community leaders on a range of quality of life, environmental, and economic projects across rural Appalachian Ohio. Its mission is to build a more just economy by developing the region’s assets in environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways. Learn more about Rural Action at



Bryn Sowash
National Service Program Planner
740-677-4047 ext 320