AmeriCorps volunteers arrive July 2
By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
June 25, 2001
A group of young people from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps will be in the area July 2-24 working on projects at Merrehope, Lake Okatibbee, Archusa Water Park and Habitat for Humanity.
Frances Townsend, assistant program director, said the group will arrive July 2, begin work at Merrehope on July 3, probably take a break for the 4th, then resume work, moving after Merrehope to the park projects.
Townsend visited the area last week to prepare for their arrival.
She said work at Merrehope is to include interior and exterior painting, landscaping, refurbishing Christmas decorations and finding better storage for them. The team may also videotape oral history.
They will do some work toward completing a Lauderdale County Habitat for Humanity house.
Americorps' roots are traced back to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the New Deal, she said. Visiting corps members are from Illinois, New York, Texas, Mississippi, Connecticut, California and Arizona. They range in age from 18-24.
Americorps teams work on community projects in a variety of categories, including environment, education, human needs, public safety and disaster relief.
Townsend said she found about the local projects through the Southeast Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development Council. The Council's project coordinator, Joe Doss, put her in touch with Lauderdale County's council representative, Allison Beasley, who is also the Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau director.
This Americorps group has worked together since October.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.