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TerraCorps comes to Rhode Island

TerraCorps Member Rachel Brown

SCLT and six other land trusts are getting a needed boost this year thanks to TerraCorps, an AmeriCorps program that just launched in our state.

Each land trust is hosting service members for one-year positions that will strengthen and extend their programming.

TerraCorps has operated in Massachusetts since 2010. In partnership with Serve RI, it expanded to the state to help build the capacity of community-based nonprofits focused on environmental stewardship, sustainable agriculture, and food justice.

In September, SCLT welcomed Jack Christensen as a sustainable agriculture coordinator and Rachel Brown as a youth education coordinator/sustainable agriculture coordinator. Jack brings skills as a writer and advocate for the natural world and extensive field work, including stints at seven different organic farms!

“Now that the industrial food system is starting to visibly spasm as a result of COVID-19,” he said, “I’d like to pursue longer-term work in farming or gardening.”

Rachel, a self-proclaimed “environmental nerd,” spent several years in Philadelphia working in environmental and outdoor education, and in youth development.

“I’m excited to help fulfill Southside’s mission by working alongside youth, and to learn more about food justice in action,” she said.

“Rhode Island is under a high level of threat from land over-development, putting overall environmental and societal sustainability at risk,” said David Graham Wolf, TerraCorps’
president and CEO. “Rhode Island’s nonprofits have a demonstrated need for the capacity-building work that TerraCorps supports, making expansion here a natural next step.”

Lizz Malloy, TerraCorps’ state co-director (and program alum) said, “Rhode Island is a wonderful size for us to launch a cohort and build relationships with new organizations.”

TerraCorps’ other Rhode Island partners this year include: Aquidneck Community Table, Aquidneck Land Trust, Audubon Society of RI, RI Land Trust Council, Westerly Land Trust and Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council.

Rachel and Jack joined SCLT at a challenging time, with Zoom staff meetings and remote working, but they’ve adapted like pros. We look forward to when we can come together as a staff again, sharing our latest news, bad puns and communal lunches.

—Jenny Boone, Grants & Communications Manager