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AmeriCorps team to help Elkhart Environmental Center

ELKHART, Ind. – EnviroFest took place on Friday afternoon at the Wellfield Botanic Gardens in Elkhart; it brought the community together while looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. EnviroFest promotes green initiatives happening locally and regionally, but it also marked the beginning of a journey for the Oak 10 AmeriCorps NCCC Team.

Seven weeks, seven people, and one common goal of environmental awareness. The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps enlists young adults who travel the country and focus on making communities better. According to Jamison Czarnecki, Supervisor for the Elkhart Environmental Center, the group will be “primarily working at the Elkhart Environmental Center. They will be doing invasive species removal, site renovations, and helping out with the education field trip programs that we have going on throughout the summer.” Czarnecki says that when weather conditions don’t allow for the Oak 10 Team to be outside, they will be “working with church community services in a variety of capacity with their food pantries, possibly the seeds to feed program and they’ll be working with Habitat Restore in Goshen.”

Czarnecki tells ABC 57 News that the AmeriCorps NCCC Team being in Elkhart on the same day as EnviroFest is an insanely great coincidence. “That’s what I’m excited for about this day and it highlights what AmeriCorps is doing here with the NCCC team,” said Czarnecki from the Elkhart Environmental Center. “Because [the Oak 10 AmeriCorps NCCC Team has] a lot of the same correlative values that we have with this festival. And so these initiatives that make a community more vibrant and initiatives that make a community more sustainable are really important.”

The team leader for Oak 10, who was not able to go on camera today, says the team will also be planting native species to replace the invasive ones and work on more trail building at the Elkhart Environmental Center.

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