The Citizens Conservation Corps (CCC), in partnership with West Virginia's Arrow to the Summit Community Service Initiative (The Initiative) some of more than 220 projects to be performed in conjunction with Days of Service, part of the 2017 National Scout Jamboree under way at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean.
For the past 18 months, the CCC has been working with community leaders and citizens throughout the state about the importance of volunteerism and to ensure everyone interested in submitting a project for the Boy Scouts has had an opportunity to do so.
“Our efforts had a tremendous impact in 2013, and the response to this statewide opportunity in 2017 has been incredible,” said Robert A. Martin, CEO of CCC. “We are grateful to Governor Justice for his support and we have enjoyed the response from citizens throughout the state as they have nominated projects and worked to see those projects happen.”
As Scouts traveled to and through the state as part of their journey to get to the Summit for the Jamboree, some of them received opportunity to complete service projects on their way.
Forty-five of the state's 55 counties will see impact because of volunteer efforts.
While under the oversight of the CCC, The Initiative has identified and developed community service projects to be completed by volunteers, including Boy Scouts, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), Volunteer WV and other volunteers from across the nation during the Jamboree through July 28.
“The opportunity to foster and produce economic benefits throughout the state of West Virginia with the sheer volume of labor we have at our fingertips is mind boggling,” Martin said. “There are small towns, rural communities, counties, and many more with critical work that we plan to address, including flood recovery projects from last June's floods.”
Of the many community service projects set to be conducted during the time of the Jamboree, the city of Rainelle in Greenbrier County will receive help with flood remediation after much of the town was destroyed last June due to the 1,000 year flood.
Rainelle Mayor Andy Pendleton said she is so appreciative of all the hard work being put in to bring the town back to life.
"Back in December, AmeriCorps came in and helped us with much of the flood cleanup. They did a great job. Now they're coming back and bringing Boy Scouts with them for more help and we couldn't be more excited."
The Boy Scouts working in Rainelle will remove vegetation, pick up debris from the streets, mulch and plant planters throughout the town.
Scouts will also be working in White Sulphur Springs at the National Fish Hatchery to bring it a fresh coat of paint, clean up and restore the outdoor classroom area and make flood repairs.
"It's really amazing what they're doing," Pendleton said. "All the work they'll be doing in Greenbrier County really means a lot to all of the small towns involved."
As they did in 2013, the partnerships led by the CCC will bring together more than 40,000 local, state and national volunteers, with a projected 500,000 hours of service bringing in an estimated $8 million economic impact for West Virginia.
Jennifer Douglas, Chief Operating Officer of CCC, said they cannot wait to welcome the Scouts with open arms.
"We're excited for their interest in the community service projects, and we can't wait to show them West Virginia, and what is so unique about our state."
"It's really amazing how massive this whole project is," Douglas said. "So many buses will be leaving out of the Summit every day to put so much work into the state."
In 2013, The Initiative was the largest community service project of its kind in U.S. history. In 2017 it will build upon the success of 2013 by servicing counties throughout the state.
Community service projects set to be conducted throughout the time of the Jamboree include the following:
- Whipple Company Store & Museum in Fayette County: Scouts will work to restore and preserve the building, and clear vegetation and debris.
- City of Rainelle: Scouts will clean up streets and plant planters throughout the town.
- White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery: Scouts will work to clean up and restore the hatchery.
- City of Welch: Scouts will paint wooden fencing around the park.
- City of Bluefield: Scouts will build a connector trail from Bluefield College to City Park.
- Town of Bramwell: Scouts will scrape and paint historical wrought iron on South River Street and clear the cemetery holding graves of pioneers at "shinbriar."
- Monroe County: Dickason Family Cemetery;: Scouts will spray and scrape off moss from tombstones.
- Peterstown Preservation Group Inc: Scouts will renovate a large building to be used as a community center.
- National Parks Service: Scouts will renovate parking areas, refurbish handicapped trail access, restrooms and campsites.
- Raleigh County, 110 Marshall: Scouts will paint a mural at the facility that will include creating art from recycled detergent bottles for outside fixtures.
- Summers County, Brown Chapel Cemetery: Scouts will install butterfly gardens, install a wooden foot bridge, stain and clean a the church, build a rock fence and cleanup the cemetery.
- Twin Falls Resort State Park: Scouts will work to build a new section of trail, connecting the trail built in 2013 to a previous trail in the park.
- Beckley, Wildwood Cemetery: Scouts will clean and preserve historic grave markers.
- Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority: Scouts will take a tour and work on pallet projects.
- Little Beaver State Park: Scouts will clean up and work on the park day use area.
- Beckley, Jackie Withrow Hospital: Scouts will plant, weed, remove vegetation and clean throughout the grounds.
- Beckley, Tamarack: Scouts will dig a ditch and stretch wire for outdoor flood lights.
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