OLIVE HILL, Ky. – Seven young adults from across the United States have spent the last few weeks  working at two Kentucky State Parks as part of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps program.


The team worked at Carter Caves State Resort Park in Olive Hill and at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park near Corbin on repairing trails, cleaning out caves and other park improvement projects.


“They worked very hard at both state parks – it’s physically demanding work,” said Andy Niekamp, who oversaw the work at Carter Caves.


This is the second year that Kentucky State Parks hosted an AmeriCorps team.


“We couldn’t have asked for better sponsors,” said Nicole Schultz, the team leader from Olathe, Kansas. She said the group was welcomed at the parks and by other people who live nearby. Team members also participated in educational programs and had time to have a little fun at the parks.


“It was our first time rappelling,” Schultz said.


The team members are 18-24 years old and are trained in first aid, CPR, safety and other skills before they start their work.  They come from different parts of the country. The Kentucky crew has members from the Arizona desert and large cities such as Philadelphia. They will return to Mississippi for training and a short break before heading out to their next assignment.


The other team members are: Eric Kranz, Montclair, N.J.; Shea Miller, Cincinnati, Ohio; David Wright, San Antonio, Texas; Armando Ortiz, Chicago; Starla Reno, Sells, Ariz., from the Tohono O'odham tribe; and Stavanna Holmes, Philadelphia.


A ceremony honoring the team will be held on Monday, April 28, at 10 a.m. at the lodge at Carter Caves State Resort Park.





The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 49 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our website at http://www.parks.ky.gov



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