DOINews: DOI/VISTA, OSMRE/VISTA, and OSMRE/AmeriCorps Teams Highlight Fourth Quarter Accomplishments for Fiscal Year 2014

Last edited 09/05/2019

Each quarter, the award-winning VISTA Teams work hard to publish summaries highlighting their accomplishments to assist rural communities impoverished by environmental degradation and its consequences to make their home-place-watersheds healthier places to live and work.

To highlight their efforts, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has provided the following excerpts from all team summaries for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014:


ACCT Team Photo (Fall 2014)
OSMRE/VISTA Appalachian Coal Country Team, Fall 2014

Environmental Education

OSMRE/VISTA Victoria Garrick, Schuylkill River Heritage Area (Pennsylvania) partnered with the National Park Service and Wilderness Inquiry to conduct the Canoemobile program at Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County, Pa. In total, there were 74 students that participated from the Children's Home of Reading, Conrad Weiser High School, Girl Scout Troop #1639, and Zion's Lutheran Church. Students learned to paddle a canoe, shared in team-building exercises, and participated in hands-on STEM-based environmental activities. Garrick was instrumental in creating advertising to successfully promote the event, initiated student recruitment, and fostered three new heritage partnerships that will create additional mentor educational programming.

WHWT Team Photo Spring 2014OSMRE/VISTA Western Hardrock Watershed Team, Spring 2014

Focus: Environmental Restoration
Project: OSMRE/VISTA Jon Scott of the Animas Watershed Partnership in Durango, Colo., helped to secure a $15,000 grant from the Colorado Healthy Rivers Fund. This grant will extend the organization's current riparian restoration project to nearly double its current size by providing funding to interested farmers on the Florida River for implementing best management practices on their land within the riparian corridor.


DOI VISTA Team (Fall 2014)DOI/VISTA Team, Fall 2014

Focus: Environmental Restoration
Project: DOI/VISTA Kevin Blanchette (Massachusetts), Groundwork Lawrence, helped plan and facilitate the Spicket River Clean Up, a large clean-up event across 10 park sites. Eight Hundred volunteers turned out and collected 21,000 pounds of litter from the river and on the banks and adjacent park properties. Blanchette created maps, promoted the event, and organized volunteer job descriptions.

Focus: Environmental Education
Project: DOI/VISTA Brittany Webb, Friends of Booker T. Washington National Monument (Virginia), has designed a Junior Rangers program that teaches children (ages 6-12) the importance of making healthy choices and always keeping active. Part of this curriculum educates youth on the importance of the national park system and how they partner with other organizations to make opportunities available to everyone in the community. Through this outreach, Webb has begun to see an increase in the number of youth interested in volunteering at the park.

OSMRE/AmeriCorps Team

OSMRE-AmeriCorps Team (Fall 2014)

OSMRE/Americorps Team, Fall 2014

Focus: Environmental Restoration
Project: Environmental impacts have caused the Blackside Dace, a native fish species of the area, to become listed as a threatened species. In Knoxville, Tenn., Ariel Norris' GIS project will aid the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in locating historical fish and surface-water-survey locations within the area and help identify areas in which to continue monitoring the fish populations. In addition, Norris is working on the assessment of acid-mine-drainage issues on mining permits listed as Permanent Program Abandoned Sites in the state of Tennessee. She will be performing water-quality analysis on surface water found in ponds and creeks located within the areas to help assess the conditions of the abandoned sites. The data will help determine if the waters are in compliance with state and federal regulations and identify impacted areas outside of the permits as a result of preexisting conditions.

Submitted by: T Allan Comp, Senior Program Analyst, OSMRE

December 11, 2014

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