Friday, October 30th, 2015
ASHEVILLE, NC – In September, Organic Growers School welcomed their first AmeriCorps Project Conserve service member, Gillian Scruggs, as the Program and Outreach Coordinator for their new Get Growing program. The Get Growing program supports home and community growers in western NC through education, consulting, support, and networking to build their confidence, skill, and motivation … to get growing.
AmeriCorps Project Conserve is a national service program in which members come from across the nation to dedicate themselves to serving western North Carolina for an 11 month service term. Members are selected based on skill, education, experience, passion and commitment to service and commit to full-time or part-time positions offered by a network of nonprofit community organizations and public agencies, to fulfill assignments in the fields of education, public safety, healthcare, and environmental protection. The program is often compared to the Peace Corps as its domestic counterpart.
Many other WNC nonprofits — Asheville GreenWorks, MountainTrue, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, and Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, to name a few, have AmeriCorps Project Conserve (ACPC) service members whose service terms include organizing river clean-ups, monitoring land easements for invasive species, and creating pollinator gardens with volunteers in the community.
Gillian comes to OGS from the Alzar School in Idaho and Chile where she was a high school Spanish and AP US History teacher and whitewater kayak instructor. Previous to that project Gillian graduated, in 2011, from UNC Asheville with a degree in Spanish. She taught experiential science education at Mountain Trail Outdoor School in Hendersonville, and worked as the garden assistant for two summers at Mountain Trail’s Educational Garden Center.
Lee Warren, Executive Director for Organic Growers School (OGS) is eager for OGS to take on a role in outreach and conservation awareness in the community. “I’m excited about what this partnership with ACPC means for us. Gillian will be able to dedicate time and attention to a public service campaign that we did not have the capacity to create without the support of an AmeriCorps service member,” she said.
Gillian’s service work will focus on conservation education and volunteer recruitment for the Get Growing program and capacity building for the organization. Gillian will host educational events designed to educate, inspire, and support the average person to re-engage with growing and to repopulate their daily lives with home-grown food. In addition, she will develop a public awareness campaign along the lines of the “Victory Garden” movement to establish western NC as a region committed to regional food systems, small-scale agriculture, and a food and growing-literate population.
Organic Growers School is a non-profit organization providing organic education since 1993. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and support people in our region to farm, garden, and live organically.