NCCC Team Water 2 Serving with OSMRE and DOI VISTAs in the Southwest

June 12, 2015

As we roll into summer we are proud to highlight our partnership with National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and share the progress of NCCC Team Water 2 in the Southwest Region. Water 2 is serving in partnership with several VISTA sites in the Southwest, soon to be followed by several other NCCC teams to serve in partnership with our VISTA Projects this summer.  Conservation Legacy VISTA Program connects NCCC Teams with VISTA sites that are in need of direct service. We apply for NCCC teams regionally across the country based on the requests of our VISTA Sites – based on community need and resource availability, NCCC awards our program NCCC Team deployments regionally. Throughout the application and approval process, we work with our partners to determine logistics including: scheduling, establishing tool lists, developing site orientations, and integrating community involvement into each project.
NCCC is an AmeriCorps Program that trains and deploys mobile units of around 8-12 members who carry out direct service projects for their hosting organizations and communities over a short period of time - between several days to several weeks. Once on site they work on various projects that benefit the community, including trail work, infrastructure improvement, landscaping, erosion control, construction, litter cleanups, youth engagement, and more.
Water 2 consists of 9 NCCC members led by Jillian Kraut. They started their projects with our sponsoring sites on April 23, 2015 with “Take it Outside NM” in Las Cruces. DOI VITSA Eileen Davis worked with the NCCC crew on the project. Their main task on site was trail maintenance. The team also cleared debris from an overgrown canyon at Dripping Springs Natural Area, participated in a community meal, and attended two educational field trips.
Las Cruces:

  • Hours worked: 90
  • Miles of trails improved: 4
  • Youth Served: ~150 (guided hike/field trip)
  • Engaged community members: 113 (community meal)

Water 2’s next stop was in Santa Fe, NM with the Railyard Stewards. While on site the team worked on the Gabion Community Gardens within downtown Santa Fe’s Railyard Park, a former brownfield site. At the gardens the team planted at a 4000 square foot section of the garden which, before the work of Water 2, was barren. The garden design uses xeric and native low-water plants that thrive in Santa Fe's high altitude desert climate. These gardens create a rich and rewarding open space in Santa Fe for residents to enjoy and learn about native plants and climate.
Santa Fe:

  • Hours Worked:  50
  • Gardens Planted: 1 (4000 SQ Feet)
  • New Plants: 150+

Most recently Water 2 served at Guidestone School in Salida, CO. Here they worked in conjunction with Salida School to improve school gardens and plant new crops for the local farm to table project. Their work included building new in-ground garden beds, replacing damaged irrigation lines, and cleaning the old garden beds for new planting. Once the infrastructure improvements were made the team worked to plant many different species in the School Garden, giving locals the opportunity to learn more about community gardening and have access to fresh organic vegetables from their own town.

  • Hours Worked: 100+
  • Gardens Improved: 5
  • Irrigation Improvements: 1 Acre
  • Vegetables Planted: 20 rows and beds
  • Fruit Trees Planted: 30+

We thank Water 2 for all their hard work and the improvements they have made to the communities they have visited so far. The Southwest Region Water 2 NCCC team will be in the field through July 15, with 4 more organizations (Colorado Canyons, Mountain Valley School, Montezuma Farm to Table, and Mountain Roots Food Project). We look forward to hearing all the great things they will accomplish at these sites and to the work of our partnering NCCC Teams across the country.
If you are interested in learning more about applying for an NCCC Team, please contact Special Projects Manager – Erica Calderis erica@conservationlegacy.org for more info.