By Felicia Redfield, GROWW Program Coordinator "So we are easing through our “First Winter” and…
Bright green paint was starting to show up everywhere as AmeriCorp Service Members, Ennis Mayor Becky Vujovich, parents, staff and even students of Ennis Community Children’s School (ECCS), spent a few hours on Monday doing much-needed painting at the school.
Vujovich, along with 36 other Mayors in Montana, took the time to recognize the service of AmeriCorps members working in our communities. This statewide honor was part of the 2nd annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service.
“Ennis is a community which is incredibly giving in terms of volunteer hours” Vujovich said, “and these AmeriCorps service members model that for all of us. We are lucky to have them here working with our students, learning about clean water, conservation, growing food, nutrition and agriculture.”
According to Sunni Heikes-Knapton, supervisor of Big Sky Watershed Corps member Ethan Kunard, “This service project was a great fit. ECCS had a need, and 4 local AmeriCorps members had the skills and the time. Becky’s words were so meaningful, and it was nice to hear that encouragement for the work the members are doing”.
Service Members honored by the Mayor for their impact and commitment included: Demetrius Fassas (Food Corps member serving Ennis School District and Madison Farm to Fork), Ethan Kunard (Big Sky Watershed Corps serving the Madison Conservation District) and Matt Piper (Big Sky Watershed Corps, serving Jack Creek Preserve Foundation).
Big Sky Watershed Corps is an AmeriCorps program that assists Montana’s watershed communities to make a measurable difference in local conservation efforts while strengthening the experience of young professionals. Participants focus on watershed research, planning and project implementation, watershed education and outreach, and community engagement.
FoodCorps is also an AmeriCorps program. Working with schools and community partners, these young professionals dedicate a year of service to improving access and knowledge about healthy foods through school gardens and agricultural based projects.
The Mayors Day event is held to recognize the value of national service to communities around the country and is sponsored primarily by the League of Cities and the US Conference of Mayors.
Written by Janet Dochnahl, Madison Farm to Fork