The Ice Age Trail Alliance believes the 1,200-mile-long Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a place where all people can enjoy and embrace the unique natural landscapes and cultural histories of Wisconsin, while finding physical and mental renewal in a peaceful setting, and an enduring spiritual connection to the land. In addition to the personal wellness and motivation one finds on the Trail, the broader community benefits from this resource. Indeed, the characteristics of the Trail are the same forces which create a variety of economic development streams communities may capitalize upon.
As the Trail winds through the state, it passes some of the most low-income counties. These remote areas also hold some of the most natural beauty. The AmeriCorps VISTA member will create a bridge between the Ice Age Trail and the positive societal and economic impacts created when visitors visit and locals embrace these iconic spaces. Activities will vary, but they will include assisting in outreach initiatives and cultivating a strong social media presence to promote the positive impacts the Ice Age Trail can have on local economies. In essence, the VISTA will bridge the gap between a declining agricultural economy and an increase in ecotourism related to outdoor recreation.
- Identify opportunities for tourism based on experiencing a range of activities along the Ice Age Trail in remote areas of the state.
- Assist in the preparation and submission of grant proposals.
- Assist up to 4 Ice Age Trail Alliance chapters with local grant research, planning and implementation designed to support new trail construction, land protection/restoration, and outreach and education.
- Collaborate with the Alliance’s 19 volunteer chapters to identify gaps in local volunteer needs and skills.
- Develop best practices in engaging the next generation of volunteers.
- Analyze the ways in which the organization is using social media to engage the community and raise awareness of Alliance work.
- Integrate findings from above with the existing communications strategies of the Alliance to drive awareness and tourism dollars to economically depressed counties along the Trail.
About AmeriCorps VISTA
The mission of AmeriCorps is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. Since 1965, over 220,000 AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program have joined the fight against poverty by helping local organizations expand their capacity to make change. The VISTA program serves in each of the 50 U.S. states and in all U.S. territories.
Through capacity building activities such as fundraising, grant writing, research, and volunteer recruitment AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program serve in an office setting and gain experience and leadership skills. This opportunity prepares members for a life of service in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Learn more here.
About Stewards Individual Placement Program
Stewards Individual Placement Program is a program of Conservation Legacy that places individuals across the nation in projects that build capacity, improve access to natural resources, develop and support innovative solutions, develop opportunities for service and economic development, and empower leaders.
Stewards AmeriCorps VISTA Members serve with nonprofits, local governments and federal agencies. Stewards AmeriCorps VISTA Members commit to serving for one year — earning a living allowance of 110% of the poverty wages in the community they serve. These dedicated individuals focus on nonprofit leadership development by building capacity through grant writing and partnership development, conduct outreach and education, promote economic development and foster environmental stewardship. Learn more here.