For Immediate Release
For Information Contact
Leanne Fisher, Marketing and Communications Director
American Conservation Experience Recognizes and Amplifies Black History Well Beyond Black History Month
Conservation Corps Provide Year-Round Historical and Cultural Preservation Through a Volunteer Workforce
Flagstaff, AZ – February 7, 2023 – Black History month is a time to reflect on the rich cultural heritage of African Americans and the many contributions they have made throughout US history. For conservation corps, the work in preserving and celebrating Black history is a year-round focus.
Through conservation corps, including American Conservation Experience (ACE), volunteers participate in projects that restore and preserve cultural sites and artifacts, provide inclusive and accurate interpretation to visitors at museums and national parks, and more. While conservation corps dedicate much of their resources to habitat protection and restoration, fuels reduction, and trail building, many are not familiar with the work dedicated to historic conservation.
“ACE is proud of our year-round service in ensuring continued connections to our past and giving voice to diverse perspectives,” said ACE CEO and President Laura Herrin. “In working with our partners, we are amplifying the stories that promote representation and inclusivity and are oftentimes left out of historical narratives.”
American Conservation Corps (ACE) enlists the support of young adults, many of whom are AmeriCorps members, to volunteer to assist with a variety of projects that help tell the often untold stories of Black Americans. ACE members are deployed to sites and locations across the country to research and organize archives, preserve and treat materials for display exhibits, serve as educational interpreters at park visitor centers, and more.
As one example, last year ACE cultural resource interns Lucy Oster and Gabrielle McFarland surveyed, treated and inventoried Ser Seshsh Ab Heter-CM Boxley’s life’s work and research pertaining to Forks of the Road and U.S. Colored Troops which was provided to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The material included 28 years of Boxley’s research depicting representation in Natchez, Mississippi’s history.
Since its founding in 2004, ACE has deployed more than 8,000 participants to over 2,280 project sites across all 50 states and several territories. Through their service, ACE volunteers, known as members, gain professional and life skills while working alongside ACE staff and partner agency staff representing the National Park Service, US Forest Service and others. For many projects, members receive housing and a living allowance during their term which may range from three months to one year. Individuals, ages 18 – 30 years old or veterans up to age 35, may apply for positions at www.usaconservation.org.
About the American Conservation Experience (ACE)
Founded in 2004, the American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a non-profit organization that recruits and trains young adults and military veterans from all backgrounds to complete a range of restoration and historic preservation projects while building the next generation of land stewards. Participants gain professional skills and cultivate their conservation careers through ACE’s experienced staff and working alongside representatives from agencies such as the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and other conservation focused groups. Currently ACE operates out of hubs in Flagstaff AZ, Sacramento and Ridgecrest, CA, Salt Lake City and Hurricane UT and Asheville, NC along with a robust remote workforce located across the country. To learn more, visit www.usaconservation.org.