News Release

March 14, 2013

AmeriCorps Week at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

Media Contacts:
Lynn Cornelius, (360) 887-3883, Lynn_Cornelius@fws.gov

AmeriCorps Week at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
 
The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) will recognize the national celebration of AmeriCorps Week, March 9-17, spotlighting the vital work done by AmeriCorps members in communities across the USA. There are thirteen AmeriCorps members currently serving in Clark County, one of which is placed at the Ridgefield NWR. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the non-profit Friends of Ridgefield NWR (Friends) are in their fourth year sponsoring an AmeriCorps position serving at the Ridgefield NWR.  In the past two years the AmeriCorps position of Education and Restoration Specialist has been provided through an agreement with the Washington Service Corps in Olympia, with matching funding provided by the Friends and the Ridgefield NWR. Nicole Gautier is the current full-time AmeriCorps member for 2012-13 at the Refuge, assisting with volunteer restoration work parties and environmental education programming. So far this season, Gautier has recruited and organized over 300 volunteers for habitat stewardship events and assisted with educating more than 850 school students during field trips to the Refuge. In the spirit of service, the week will wrap up with a volunteer tree planting event on March 16th on the Carty Unit of the Refuge.
 
AmeriCorps members typically remain actively engaged in their communities long after their service is complete. An AmeriCorps longitudinal study found that AmeriCorps alums are more attached to their communities, aware of community challenges, and significantly more likely to go into public service careers. An example of this at the Refuge is a previous Ridgefield AmeriCorps member who was hired on as the Plankhouse Coordinator after her service. AmeriCorps works!  
 
More information can be found at: http://ridgefieldfriends.org/
http://www.fws.gov/ridgefieldrefuges/ridgefield/index.htmland
http://www.esd.wa.gov/washingtonservicecorps/ql-about-us.php, and  AmeriCorps.gov
 
 
Where & When: March 9-17, 2013, 28908 NW Main Ave, Ridgefield WA 98642