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Appalachian Coal Country Team

Environmental Steward Summer Program


2012 Application to Host an Environmental Steward Summer Program Member are now available. Please read the program information and download the application.

2012 Applications to serve as an Environmental Steward Summer Program Member are now available. Please read the job description and download the application.

To learn about the work of our members this past summer check out the 2011 Summer Programs Report. 



 “I enjoyed this because of the opportunity to share a passion with a younger demographic, and hopefully inspire the same feeling of connectivity that I have when camping.”
-Alex Van Wyhe, 2011 Summer Program Member with Wrangell Institute for Science & the Environment

Charles Hicks Restoring Garden
Summer Program Member Charles Hicks restores the garden at the Guilford County National Military Park

Summer Program Members serve for 10 weeks on projects that vary from water monitoring, coordinating the creation of outdoor classrooms, conducting outreach, organizing festivals and focusing on the ACCT’s five core goals.The Environmental Steward Summer Programs supplement the work of the OSMRE/VISTA Teams by placing Summer Program Members with watershed/community improvement groups and agencies across the country.  

The Summer Program launched in 2007. During the first four years of the program, the OSMRE/VISTA Teams placed a total of 158 positions. In 2011, a total of 58 Summer Program Members served across 19 states. These 2011 Summer Program Members logged a total of 21,294 service hours—more than 10 years of full time work. Thanks to the dedication of all Summer Program Members and their sponsoring organizations the Summer Programs have been a great success.


Outreach& Environmental Rehabilition with Lake Erie Islands Chapter of Black Swamp Conservancy, Put-in-Bay, OH
Summer Program Member: Colleen O'Brien
Project Supervisor:  Lisa Brohl

Colleen OBrien

Colleen O’Brien spent her summer working on environmental rehabilitation and beautification projects and outreach. With the help of volunteers, she was able to remove a large amount of the invasive species garlic mustard from a wildflower trail on the island. She also organized a boat trip to Middle Bass Island with the Put-in-Bay Junior Sailing Team where they worked on mulching a trail at a nature preserve. Another accomplishment was creating Facebook pages for the Lake Erie Islands Chapter of the Black Swamp Conservancy and the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center. The pages serve as a tool for people to learn more about both organizations and stay updated on news, events, and volunteer opportunities.



Environmental Restoration with the Coal Creek Watershed Coalition, Crested Butte, CO
Summer Program Member: Zach Vaughter
Project Supervisor: Anthony Poponi


Zach Vaughter

Zach Vaughter has been implementing and installing Best Management Practices in the local watershed. These include erosion matting, check dams/filters, and erosion fence along local roads. These practices have aided in controlling erosion and acting as catchments to limiting the amount of sediment and roadway pollutants being deposited into Coal Creek. In addition, he has collected, analyzed, and documented data that analyzes the positive effect these installations are having on the watershed. These implementations have aided in enhancing aquatic life and water quality.


For more information contact Summer Programs Coordinator, Rachel Folk.