TerraCorps & AmeriCorps
An Innovative Approach to
Service & Leadership Development
TerraCorps believes in the power of local nonprofits to best understand and serve their communities. We also know that these same nonprofits are consistently under-resourced without sufficient staff or volunteer capacity to deliver their core interventions at necessary scale.
To respond to this community need, TerraCorps helps community nonprofits leverage the AmeriCorps national service model. Each year, we recruit a new cohort of up to 60 AmeriCorps Service Members and place them at a service site organization within our network of 40+ nonprofit partners throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Service members are paired with a site supervisor, an experienced professional, who provides them guidance and mentorship while they learn to manage community programs and projects throughout their service term.
Members, partner organizations, and the communities they serve all benefit from the TerraCorps service model. Members gain professional skillsets, real world experience, and networking opportunities that may help them launch their careers. Partner organizations receive an immediate capacity boost that strengthens their ability to fulfill their missions and improves their sustainability. Communities are the beneficiaries of the improved and expanded services that our partner organizations are able deliver through their partnership with TerraCorps.
One of the most valued aspects of the TerraCorps service model is that it allows our service site partners the flexibility to align Members’ activities with local needs and priorities while they serve in one of the following five Member Coordinator roles:
TerraCorps Member Coordinator Roles
Land Conservation Coordinator
- Members may provide outreach and education to landowners about voluntary land conservation options.
- Members may organize landscape-scale land protection projects.
- Members may organize, support, and represent service sites in regional conservation partnerships.
- Members may engage land committee volunteers in community conservation needs assessment and strategic conservation planning.
- Members may conduct outreach to conservation commissions and open space committees.
- Members may prepare non-federal grant applications for land protection projects.
- Members may provide GIS technical assistance.
- Members may conduct landowner intakes and perform preliminary land project assessments.
- And many other land protection projects and activities.
Land Stewardship Coordinator
- Members may organize volunteers to support hands-on stewardship of open lands.
- Members may help service sites utilize Geographic Information Systems and GPS technology, and develop field survey techniques for natural resources inventory, ecological assessment, and monitoring of conservation land.
- Members may organize volunteers to implement land stewardship projects such as invasive species removal, native plant restoration, erosion control, habitat improvement, and build and improve trails for public accessibility.
- Members may prepare baseline documentation reports.
- Members may conduct and train volunteers to conduct conservation restriction monitoring.
- Members may help service sites develop and improve land stewardship systems in support of gaining and sustaining Land Trust Accreditation.
- And many other land stewardship projects and activities.
Community Engagement Coordinator
- Members may develop and lead culturally inclusive programming, events, and volunteer opportunities that provide broad social and environmental benefits to traditionally underrepresented beneficiaries.
- Members may organize and facilitate multi-stakeholder networks to identify community needs, develop collaborative projects, and identify opportunities for resource sharing and funding.
- Members may lead educational events and projects that leverage sustainable land uses to address public health, economic opportunity, educational deficiencies, and accessibility.
- Members may revitalize urban parks, plant urban shade trees, create accessible camping opportunities, promote nature in the arts, encourage backyard gardening, etc.
- Members may engage partners in food systems assessments, community resource inventory and mapping projects, and community education campaigns
- And many other community engagement projects and activities.
Youth Education Coordinator
- Members may partner with public schools to lead students on interpretive and inquiry-based field trips to investigate local flora and fauna and evaluate environmental conditions.
- Members may use experiential education and service learning techniques to build school gardens and teach students to plant, grow, harvest, and eat vegetables.
- Members may partner with youth groups to lead land stewardship-focused service learning projects.
- And many other youth education projects and activities.
Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator
- Members may organize volunteers to help build and manage community farms and gardens so more people can grow and access healthy food.
- Members may train and educate beginning gardeners and farmers to use organic growing practices, plan growing systems, improve soils, and remove invasive species.
- Members may organize volunteers help communities restore land, build garden beds and greenhouses, access water, and harvest and distribute food to the community.
- And many other sustainable agriculture projects and activities.
Our Partnership with AmeriCorps
TerraCorps is a grant funded program contingent upon renewal of federal funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS grants to AmeriCorps programs are administered at the state level by the organizations below:
AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 men and women in intensive service each year through 15,000+ nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. AmeriCorps members help communities tackle pressing problems. They leverage their service by mobilizing volunteers to help address community needs for environmental stewardship, health, education, economic opportunity, disaster services, and support to veterans & military families.
The Massachusetts Service Alliance
The Massachusetts Service Alliance is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as the state commission on service and volunteerism. They are committed to increasing the number of people engaged in meaningful volunteer opportunities across Massachusetts that are both fulfilling for the volunteers and Corps members and that meet critical needs in our community. The Mass Service Alliance amplifies the impact of volunteerism and service across the Commonwealth by supporting organizations that help our residents and communities thrive.
ServeRI, Rhode Island’s Commission for National and Community Service, catalyzes inclusive, equitable service opportunities to strengthen Rhode Island by directing national service resources and volunteers to evidence-based programs that make a measurable impact in education, health, housing, and other social services. Service and volunteer programs do more than move communities forward; they serve the participants by providing pathways to new career and leadership opportunities. National service places hundreds of adults each year into intensive service positions in Rhode Island where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop a life-long commitment to active citizenship.