More SCA volunteers hail from Pennsylvania
As volunteers with the Student Conservation Association’s Trail Town Outreach Corps, Corrie Parrish and Courtney Mahronich assist communities along the Great Allegheny Passage that runs through Fayette County.
The young women help local businesses learn more about the trail and how to assist bikers who travel the route as well as promote sustainability in western Pennsylvania.
“I like helping smaller communities,’’ said Parish, 25, of Pittsburgh. “I feel like I’m making a bigger difference than in a big city.’’
“They’ve given us a lot of freedom to take charge of projects,’’ said Mahronich, 26, of Cheswick in Allegheny County. “It’s a great thing to take on a leadership role.’’
The young women’s work has taken them into the Fayette County communities of Connellsville and Ohiopyle. Parrish started her service in April and will continue until February while Mahronich started in May and will finish in March. The corps is an SCA partnership with the Trail Towns Program, which is a program of the Progress Fund in Greensburg.
The women are part of the reason the SCA recently recognized Pennsylvania as one of top states for leadership of youth service and stewardship in parks.
A press release from the organization explained SCA provides hands-on service opportunities for high school and college students across the country in national, state and local parks, forests and refuges. Founded in 1957, its mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities.
Using statistics from the fiscal year that ran from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, SCA recognized states in three categories: where volunteers were from, where they served and the states with sites that had the most volunteers.