American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a nonprofit Conservation Corps that is currently seeking energetic, ambitious emerging conservation and restoration professionals to participate as AmeriCorps members in a 450 hour program of outdoor skills training focused on Habitat Restoration.
The primary focus of this position will be vegetation management (invasive vs. native) and habitat restoration, but other tasks such as historical trail preservation and trail work may be required. Corps Members volunteer their energy, enthusiasm, and working long hours in adverse weather conditions, to do work that is not always glamorous. This opportunity is intended for environmental stewards who are eager to give back to our public lands.
Kirwin NWR is 10,778 acres of prairie grasslands, wetlands, stream corridors located around a large irrigation and flood control reservoir in north central Kansas. The primary purpose of this refuge is to conserve, maintain and manage wildlife and habitat for migratory and grassland birds. Due to the somewhat frequent rise and fall of the reservoir water levels and the large amounts of farming that historically took place on and around the property, the refuge must be conducive to invasive plant species. Removing invasive species will create canopy openings to benefit a variety of migratory and grassland birds along with maintaining the restorative historical prairie habitat for this location. Many of the species removed would have provided seed sources for more aggressive invasion in the prairie habitat.
Flint Hills NWR is 18,463 acres of a diverse assortment of wetlands, bottomland hardwood forest, grassland, and riparian areas located in southeast Kansas. By mimicking natural wet and dry cycles on the restored wetland habitat, the refuge can accommodate both food and shelter to migrating and wintering waterfowl. The loss of the native prairie and wetland habitats are due to agriculture prior to establishment and are subject to “wind-row” trees. By removing invasive species the refuge can encourage desirable tree species that were historically present in the woodlands by thinning to meet habitat objectives for migratory species. One third of the work will be at Kirwin NWR followed by two thirds of the work will be done at Flint Hills NWR.
Field work and other duties might include but are not limited to:
- Invasive species removal
- Habitat restoration
- Wetland restoration
- Inventory and monitoring
- Grid walk surveys
- Plant identification
- Historical preservation
Common Activities, Tools and Gear that you will find on ACE restoration projects: Handsaws, Loppers, Backpack sprayers, Chainsaws, Dobber bottles, GPS units, Biltmore sticks, Hatchets, Brush cutters, Hand-weeding, Native Species Planting, Live Staking, Erosion control, Spill kit expertise, Hand wash station set up, Wind meter, Pesticide label literate.