My Americorps journey really began back when I was in Middle School. I volunteered with my father at the Incline Village General Improvement District Public Works Department to help out with their water quality program. The volunteers would meet up, get the scientific equipment and instructions and we would then disperse. I would typically sample along Third Creek or Incline Creek in Incline Village, NV as we wrote down observations, Dissolved Oxygen levels, Turbidity measurements and Temperature readings among other things. It was great experience and gave me a foundation in the sciences.
I then applied to become an intern with the IVGID agency in spring of 2014. I had already been picked up to become a County Park Aide Ranger however, so this plan was foiled. I was able to reconnect with agency workers and ultimately decided to apply for their Americorps position. I got it. Pretty quick and simple. I couldn’t be more excited, this is something I’m passionate about!
One of my most favorite responsibilities for Waste Not is our affiliation with the Tahoe Water Suppliers Association. I am required to take regular water quality samples and measurements at the beaches and creeks in Incline Village, NV on IVGID property. That is, I put on some waders and venture out among the rocks and sand to collect the required items from the lake.
My other primary duties include hazardous and electronic waste acceptance and management from community members as well as environmental education and promotion of sustainability initiatives. This position can sometimes feel like it is tailor made for me but it can also present some challenges with time management and agency capacity. Overall, the Americorps experience has been both fun and extremely educational. I do not believe that I could have gained the networking and additional training skills from any other position. This is due to the support that Americorps members and their programs receive from the local, regional and even national levels. Incline Village may loose some Americorps members in its’ community in the following year; however the impact that this program had over its 15 year service will make an everlasting legacy to hopefully motivate its citizens to be the best they can be to each other and the environment in the great USA.