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Individual Placement Program

[Image Description: A MCC member and Forest Service employee are rafting down a river. The Forest Service employee is rowing the raft while the other is holding onto paperwork, likely for the survey they are completing. Off in the distance, there are mass

Connection, Purpose, and Community: Takeaways From the Big Sky Watershed Corps Service Project

A group of AmeriCorps members stands in front of a mural reading "Family Promise".

The first week of May for the Big Sky Watershed Corps (BSWC) members was full of learning technical skills, braving the spring snow, and soaking up all the moments of our last training together before the field season started. In years past, the final day of the Technical Skills training is a service day. This year, I coordinated volunteer projects with Family Promise of Gallatin Valley and the Human Resource Development Council in Bozeman.

Family Promise of Gallatin Valley is a local nonprofit that supports families experiencing housing insecurity through shelter, prevention, and stabilization programs. BSWC members helped with spring cleaning, landscaping, and shoveling gravel deposited over the winter. At the new A Journey Home campus, members helped remove an irrigation line and move furniture. 

Another group of the BSWC cohort volunteered with the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC). HRDC serves as a local support network aiming to increase levels of well-being in individuals and families in Southwest Montana. One of HRDC’s programs is the Learning Garden at Story Mill Community Park. The garden is a space that cultivates an environment of agricultural stewardship, environmental awareness, and food sovereignty. There, members pulled weeds, upturned soil, and prepared the garden for spring planting. 

As AmeriCorps members, the volunteer projects highlight the purpose to serve and give back to our local community. The service day allows for a moment of pause and to reflect on more than just “what can I get out of this experience” and consider what we can do for others in the community. 

As I reflect on the service project, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to foster a new connection between Montana Conservation Corps and Family Promise of Gallatin Valley, and continue to build rapport with the HRDC. As Jaclyn LeBlanc, the Development Coordinator for Family Promise, said “Gallatin Valley is stronger when we work together.”