By: Kathleen Elias, AmeriCorps NCCC Member
On May 9th AmeriCorps NCCC team Oak 3 began their second round project in Dubuque, Iowa with the Four Mounds Foundation and Mount Saint Francis. The mission of Four Mounds Foundation is to preserve, educate and serve. The mission of Mount St. Francis is to encourage human enrichment through the respect of all creation and sanctity of life in all forms. These organizations make their estates available to the public for a variety of educational purposes.
Throughout this project, Oak3 has done various maintenance work at the Four Mounds estate such as brush removal, restoring an oak savannah by cutting down all trees except the oak and hickory trees. They have done landscaping by mulching, weeding and planting various flowers. With the site supervisors, the team has helped to paint historic buildings and helped to replace an old deteriorated roof with a new tin roof. They also hosted a Community Service Day where they helped to clear a trail with the help of volunteers and to make it more accessible and safer for the public. At the Mount St. Francis estate, the team has helped with mulching, planting vegetables in their garden and restoring their prairie by cutting down saplings and treating them with an herbicide.
Team member Eleni says “Both of these organizations put priority on preserving the history and land that their foundations lie upon. I have learned how important it is to try and save the native ecological system, and how that can benefit diversity of plant life and wild life in that area. I hope to learn more!”
The team has also volunteered with many organizations in the area. The team helped set up a Mother’s Day Breakfast with the local Boy scouts troop, did various maintenance tasks with the humane society and at Albrecht Acres Camp and helped to set up a warehouse sale with Dubuque Missions.