The Armstrong Conservation District offers internship opportunities for college and graduate students interested in careers related to the District’s many programs. Interns complete hands-on projects relevant to their area of interest while working closely with supervisors, colleagues and volunteers in their host department.
This National Service Movement engages thousands of Americans of all ages and backgrounds in a domestic Peace Corps. Members serve their communities in the areas of education, environment, public safety, and human needs and receive a living stipend, educational monies, and a wealth of experience.
The Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps AmeriCorps program was created in 1994, and began with a 40 member Corps that would be partnered with nonprofit and governmental organizations across 10 Pennsylvania counties, (Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fayette, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset, and Westmoreland.) The Corps was designed to address all four major AmeriCorps initiatives, Education, Human Needs, Public Safety, and Environment.
Today the Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps has grown to 150+ members, covering 16 counties with a statewide environmental initiative. Since its inception, there have been hundreds of students tutored in math and reading, thousands of seniors and families provided with services that would have otherwise gone undone, hundreds of after school and educational activities presented to at-risk youths, hundreds of miles of water tested and cleaned up, thousands of volunteer hours generated, and a unique collaborative effort of community organizations formed.
For additional information please visit: http://www.pmsc.org/
Here are some of the things our current member is doing:
Water Quality Monitoring
We collect data from five stream monitoring locations in Armstrong County for non-point source pollution. Data loggers measure temperature, pH, total dissolved solids, and conductivity at 15-minute intervals 24 hours a day. Field measurement of chloride and alkalinity accompany the bi-monthly data collection. These parameters of stream quality help to determine how upstream sources of pollution influence a stream. Measurable sources of pollution could be nutrient runoff from farms or mine discharges. We participate in this program with the guidance of the Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team.
Office Staff Assistance
We provide support to members of the office staff. We help with preparation of grants, setting up workshops, and attend meetings and trainings.
Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center
A large part of what we do is environmental education, and we work closely with the ELC to do that. This past year, several fourth and ninth grade classes from Armstrong School District participated in field trips at the ELC. These trips are broken down into stations and the one we were responsible for was the “Tree ID GeoTrail” teaching the students about Geocaching using GPS technology, being respectful to the forest, Identifying a few tree species, critical thinking and working together in teams to find the series of caches we have set out along the “You Can Trail.” We also attended the monthly ELC Steering Committee meetings and participated in the spring clean up workday.
Tree and Seedling Sale
Each year, the conservation district sells a variety of fruit trees and tree seedlings as a service to landowners. We helped prepare the order forms, track the orders as they came in, picked up the seedlings from the nursery, packed each individual’s order, and assisted in the final pick up. In addition to the sale, ACD provides a tree seedling to each third grade student in Armstrong County. We sorted and delivered these seedlings (over 900 of them!) to each elementary school in the county.
Each year AmeriCorps members have the opportunity to attend a variety of trainings/workshops/meetings/conferences. These may vary from year to year and personal interests.
Martin Luther King Jr Day Food Drive
Each year, AmeriCorps members participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service held on his birthday in January. At ACD, we hold an annual food drive at a local grocery store to collect monetary and non-perishable food donations for the local food bank.