NCCC Gives Village Creek State Park Facelift

December 2, 2003--Posted at 5:54 p.m. CST

Village Creek State Park, Wynne, Ark.--You've heard of Peace Corps, and you might even be familiar with Americorps....but have you ever heard of the National Civilian Community Corps?

Well, if not, you might be surprised to learn that members of the group are currently in Region 8.

Group member Alicia Morey is a Yankee....that's right, she's from Albany, New York. and you might guess that coming to Arkansas might be somewhat of a culture shock for her....

It's been a really nice surprise, going to another part of the country. Other than Americorps, I would have no other reason to come to Arkansas. It's really been an eye-opening experience to meet the people," said Morey.

Morey is part of the National Civilian Community Corps, or's a division of Americorps. She, and the eight other people in her group, travel around the country working on projects for ten months out of the year. The group has been in Arkansas since October 29th working on state park trails. But they have not been alone, they've been under the supervision of Jimmie Langford, who works as the trail maintenance supervisor for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

Langford remarked, "It's been quite pleasurable to watch them grow up from when you teach them how to do something and then stand back and watch them do it. It's working with them on the eagerness--they are also way up there on excitement, you know. Plus at the same time we are getting a lot of good stuff done at our parks."

Langford says he's learned as much from these kids as they have from them.

"It's been wonderful, it's been an experience. I've done things that normally I wouldn't have... like music I've listened to and ate things I didn't know existed."

The group has done a lot during their time in Arkansas.

"They have totally redone the Big Ben trail, it's got 82 some waterbars put in it now where the erosion was really bad coming down the main big ditch of it. They've put in new steps at the bottom of the trail head, and at the overlooks we have put in new rails to keep the banks from washing down into the creek, and just generally filled in the trail bed and added a few more steps as well, and so they're really good they get a lot of work done," said Langford.

As for Alicia Morey, her time here in Arkansas is winding down, and then it will be off to the next project....but the experience has been good.

"It's been challenging, and motivating, because we can defiantly see the work that needs to be done...and the big difference that is being made, us working here," said Morey.

Langford says he grows attached to having someone around.
"I miss them quite a bit when they are gone because it's like you've lost your work force plus your relationships is a lot of it here."

After Americorps members serve 1700 hours working, they are then paid a stipend of $4,725 dollars...and kids like Alicia Morey often use this money for college.

If you think the National Civilian Corps may be for you, or if you just want more information you can call 843-743-2600.