Being an AmeriCorps Cape Cod member offers you the opportunity to live in a coastal setting, foster personal development, build leadership skills, explore various sectors of the environmental and disaster preparedness field, gain valuable skills through training and hands-on service experience, build a viable communal living environment, and most importantly, provide valuable and quality environmental and disaster service for the environment and community of Cape Cod.
As a member you are expected to serve and live by the service, community strengthening and residential standards and follow all Program Guidelines and Operating Procedures outlined in the Member Handbook and Contract. The program standards are summarized below:
As an AmeriCorps Cape Cod member you are expected to provide quality community service in the areas of natural resource management, disaster preparedness and response, environmental education, and volunteer engagement to Barnstable County departments and towns, state and federal departments and non-profit entities on Cape Cod. You will serve on a variety of service projects both as a team member and as an individual.
You are expected to build and strengthen the Cape Cod community and your residential community by demonstrating leadership, initiative, motivation and team work and serve as a role model for others.
As a member you are expected to live in the assigned residence the program provides. You are expected to positively contribute to a healthy residential environment.
In order to be eligible for an AmeriCorps Education Award, you must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 1700 hours of service within the program time frame. Of the 1700 hours, a maximum of 20% may be training, education, or other similar approved activities. Your Term of Service may be extended by the program for the following reasons:
• Your service is suspended due to compelling personal circumstances.
• Your service is terminated but a grievance procedure has resulted in reinstatement.
As a member, you will receive orientation and training, housing, a living stipend, mileage allowances, health care benefits, and an education award of $5,775 from the National Service Trust (CNCS) upon successful and satisfactory completion of the program. Uniforms provided. Childcare assistance if eligible.
• Must be 18 years or older
• Be a United States citizen, a national, or a legal permanent resident
• Must have two years of college, work or volunteer experience
• Ability to perform demanding physical labor both in and outdoors in various weather conditions
• Demonstrated commitment to community service and/or environmental service
• Willingness to live in communal living situation
• Demonstrated ability to work well in a team setting
• Must possess initiative
• Must be able to provide your own reliable motor-vehicle
Members complete projects as assigned as well as develop and implement projects of their own. Members perform environmental and disaster related education presentations and coordinate volunteer projects and events. Saturdays are also used to engage the community in service. Members are on-call to respond to environmental and natural disasters like marine mammal strandings and regional shelter openings.
Sample service partners include Barnstable County departments, the Cape Cod National Seashore, the American Red Cross, municipal Shellfish Departments, the Army Corps of Engineers, municipal Tree Wardens, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, conservation trusts, etc.
Community Need Addressed
Cape Cod's environment is its lifeblood. The region's history, economic opportunity and cultural heritage are connected to the quality of its beaches, dunes, estuaries, marshes, trails and conservation lands. Cape Cod's expanding population, aging community and continued development are placing unprecedented pressure on the environment and create a need to protect land and water resources and prepare for disasters with well-designed response strategies.
Conservation of Cape Cod's land and water natural resources and preparation for disasters are critical to the health and well-being of residents and the long-term prosperity of the region.
Cape Cod is one of the most hazardous wildfire zones in the country according to the 2012 Barnstable County Wildfire Preparedness Plan. Cape Cod's pine and oak forests produce highly flammable needles and leaves that decompose slowly and pile up over time, creating a vast fuel reservoir that sits in wait for the right conditions. This "seasoned" raw material or wood will burn easily, placing Cape Cod at high risk for wildfires. A US Forest Service study found that Cape Cod, with its sandy soils, drying winds and fuel types is as wildfire prone as the fire-ravaged regions of southern California.
ACC trains and deploys 24 full-time residential AmeriCorps members. Members will leverage at least 600 volunteers in partnership with all 15 Cape Cod towns plus over 150 regional, federal, state, local, and nonprofit stakeholders.
ACC's Environmental Stewardship consists of more than 350 water and land-focused natural resource management projects throughout Barnstable County. These projects will include interventions to improve 200 acres of parks in public and tribal lands, improve or create 80 miles of trails or waterways, restore herring runs and salt marshes, remove invasive species, and propagate millions of shellfish. In addition to providing need-based community services, these interventions will also result in improved water quality, reduced wildfire risk, and accessibility to public conservation lands.
ACC members directly mitigate wildfire risk on Cape Cod through consistent fire fuel reduction activities including mechanical removal, controlled burns, education of local residents, and outreach to local fire departments. Between 2012 and 2015, the Cape Cod National Seashore realized over 350 acres of treated landscape with prescribed fire and/or mechanical fuel reduction.
Finally, community disaster preparedness education classes are delivered to hundreds of individuals each year, resulting in hundred of participants indicating increased knowledge of disaster preparedness resources. During locals disasters like hurricanes and winter storms, members are deployed to serve in Barnstable County regional emergency shelters. In such events, members are the first line of service to hundreds of community members within the shelters.
Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Housing, Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Skills you will gain
CPR/First Aid Certification, Chainsaw Operation (selected members), National Incident Management System Certifications, Project WET (water education) curriculum, puppet show delivery, plant identification, shellfish propagation, public speaking, trail building, basic carpentry, grant writing, hand and power tool training, event planning, volunteer coordination, emergency shelter operations.
Competencies You Will Develop
Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Lead group discussion, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Turn taking, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Derive consensus, Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Operate tools and equipment in accordance with established operating procedures, safety standards, and ethical guidelines, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Effectively delegate tasks, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment