HOUSTON – AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and Urban Harvest are teaming up with local volunteers to build a community garden on Friday, February 24.

The event will take place in the First Ward at 1406 Beachton in Houston from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The NCCC team and Urban Harvest are asking area residents to join them in transforming a vacant lot into this community garden, which will provide a sustainable source of fresh vegetables to the residents of the First Ward. Volunteers will participate in the construction of a rain barrel system with gutters, the concrete surrounding, and the painting of a shed. Volunteers do not need to RSVP. Tools will be provided, but volunteers may want to bring drinking water for themselves.

Urban Harvest is a local charitable organization supporting a network of urban gardens, farms and orchards that inspire people of diverse backgrounds to grow food in the city.

The AmeriCorps NCCC team that organized this event arrived in Houston in early January to support Houston Parks and Recreation’s Greenspace Management. They will wrap up this eight-week project on February 29 and return to their regional headquarters in Denver before receiving their next assignment. This was the second of four long term projects this team will complete before graduating from the 10-month program on July 27.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 1,200 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, Corps Members – all 18 to 24 years old – work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Members work on a series of different projects, typically lasting six to eight weeks each, to mentor students, construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, clean up streams, help communities develop emergency plans, and address countless other local needs. The Southwest Region campus in Denver is one of five regional hubs in the United States and serves eight states in the southwest part of the country. The other campuses are located in Perry Point, Md., Vinton, Iowa, Vicksburg, Miss., and Sacramento, Calif.

In exchange for their service, Corps Members receive $5,550 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, increased self-confidence, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Corporation improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at http://www.americorps.gov/nccc .

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