Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

The five AmeriCorps team members with Jonathan Humphrey (right), Sequoia-Kings Canyon plant biologist. The AmeriCorps crew hails from all parts of the U.S. and has been living at Lake Kaweah while completing projects there and in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.An AmeriCorps team member builds a trail near Horse Creek Campground at Lake Kaweah. Removing non-native plants from Sequoia National Park.

AmeriCorps crew working at Sequoia and Lake Kaweah

Volunteers restore local public lands
Sarah Elliott
I appreciate nature more now that I'm working to mitigate ecological damage in my home state while protecting this national treasure.

Since early April, an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps team (NCCC) — Green 4 — has been working with the National Park Service at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks to combat invasive plant species and restore sensitive habitat areas. For the past month, the group of five young adults has been attacking periwinkle, Italian thistle, stinging nettle, and horehound while also monitoring for new invaders, tending to recent plantings, and working in the parks’ nursery. 

“I appreciate nature more now that I’m working to  mitigate ecological damage in my home state while protecting this national treasure,” said Green 4 member Miyuki Fukui. 

During their seven-week assignment, the team has been staying at Lake Kaweah where they are also assisting the Army Corps of Engineers with riparian mitigation, campsite beautification, and endangered species protection projects.

These have been enjoyable projects for the team, whose members range from aspiring physician and traveling nurse to emerging artist and sustainability and resource managers. They all have enjoyed working outside in the Sierra foothills. 

Green 4 can be seen around the park in their uniform of cargo pants and grey NCCC tees or in the more relaxed civilian clothing while frequenting the local coffee shop and ice cream parlor. If you see them, say hello as they enjoy meeting new people.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, team-based, residential program for men and women ages 18 to 24 with a mission to strengthen communities and develop leaders through national and community service.

Information for this article contributed by an AmeriCorps team member.