A six-person AmeriCorps team is currently stationed at Lakepoint State Park in Eufaula, Alabama, to take part in a seven-week renovation project. The project will include the rebuilding of a retaining wall behind the park’s lodge, renovations to the day use bathrooms and replacing rotten decking in the cabin areas. The team arrived at the park on Monday, November 4, with plans to work on the project through mid-December.
AmeriCorps is a national volunteer program similar to the Peace Corps. Volunteers commit to full-time or part-time positions offered by a network of nonprofit community organizations and public agencies to earn college credit and scholarships. Approximately 75,000 Americans volunteer with the program each year.
Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs welcomed the AmeriCorps volunteers to Lakepoint during the team’s orientation on Tuesday, November 5.
“It is an honor for our city to host you during your service project here at the state park,” he said. “What you do across the U.S. and abroad is just amazing. While you’re here, we’d like to provide you with the opportunity to meet young people in our community and show what is possible through volunteerism and public service.”
In addition to providing volunteer opportunities and teaching life skills, AmeriCorps also offers participants a chance to experience other parts of the country and world.
“It’s been cool to dispel some of the myths about the South,” said team leader Eric Cullen, 25, from New York. “Our team is based out of Mississippi, but most of us are from the Northeast. One of the biggest surprises to me is how similar it is to where I’m from. Some people paint the South like it’s a whole different world, and in some aspects it is a bit different, but people here are super friendly, the food is amazing, and the weather is preferable. It’s been a very good time seeing new things and having new experiences.”
Cullen’s AmeriCorps teammates include: Júlia Raup-Collado, 23, Pennsylvania; Amy Skotek, 24, Pennsylvania; Ruby Amaya, 19, Texas; Chris Bunker, 19, Massachusetts; and Eric Bataluna, 19, Idaho.
This is the first time an AmeriCorps team has worked in an Alabama state park. Prior to beginning their work at Lakepoint, the team spent two months working on renovation projects in Puerto Rico.
“We are thankful to AmeriCorps and to this team for the work they are doing at Lakepoint,” said Greg Lein, Alabama State Parks Director. “These young men and women are training to become leaders in their communities. We are honored to be able to play a role in that process.”
To learn more about AmeriCorps, visit www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps.
Lakepoint Resort State Park is located on the banks of the 45,000-acre Lake Eufaula, also known as "The Bass Capital of the World." The park offers a variety of amenities such as a full-service restaurant and lounge, marina, hiking trails, campground, swimming complex and playgrounds. Learn more at www.alapark.com.