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Appalachian Coal Country Team

Core Goals

OSM/VISTA Leslie Hammond with the Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development Council in Jonesborough, TN accepts a check for a $5,000 grant she wrote to establish an interpretive

OSM/VISTA Volunteers fight issues that overwhelm many small organizations: degraded environments, minimal resources, limited partnerships and the challenge of doing work that is often entirely volunteer-based. Our OSM/VISTAs have an impact on these issues, their communities and the region by serving under the following five core goals:

1. Build local capacity OSM/VISTAs assist their grassroots non-profit hosts in strategic long-term organizational planning, in the preparation and submittal of grant proposals to secure funding, in the facilitation of local and regional partnerships, and in the recruitment and training of volunteers. Read more about building local capacity.


OSM/VISTA Becky Ainsworth with Supervisor Jack Seitz coordinate monthly growers meetings for locals to discuss farming techniques. The result of these meetings, weekly farmers markets and fresh vegetables grown in Mullens, WV

2. Engage Economic Redevelopment The Coal Country Team supports community revitalization through economic redevelopment projects that increase awareness, understanding and access to local history, culture, and the continuing relationship between the river and the community. Read stories about economic redevelopment in Appalachia.


OSM/VISTAs Megan Blackmon and Mike Stanton teach volunteers to monitor water quality in Schuylkill County, PA

3. Promote Environmental Stewardship The Coal Country Team promotes environmental stewardship in at-risk ecosystems by supporting watershed research and water-quality monitoring critical to future funding, project development and implementation, and community support. Read how the Coal Country Team is promoting Environmental Stewardship.


OSM/VISTA Debby Ludwig coordinates an outdoor education summer camp series for children and their families to engage them in the activities of the Little Beaver Creek Land Foundation so that they learn about the waterways and environment around Lisbon, OH

4.Enhance Outreach and Education The success of any of our projects depends on the involvement of the local communities where our OSM/VISTAs serve – getting the word out through outreach and educational activities helps foster local ownership of projects and leads individuals to take action. Read stories about our work in outreach and education.


OSM/VISTA Krystle Chipman gives a presentation to older adults around Hazard, KY to engage them in the work of Pathfinders of Perry County and to gain experience public speaking

5. Promote Professional Development Serving with the Coal Country Team is not only a benefit and opportunity for the sponsoring organization, but also an opportunity for the individual serving the Team. All Team sponsors support the professional development of their OSM/VISTA member to broaden his or her ability to engage with watershed and community development issues and enhance his or her opportunities for professional growth. Read what our OSM/VISTAs learned while serving with the ACCT.