Jessica spent the last twelve months as an AmeriCorps member with the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area (AFHA) in Elkins, WV. While in Elkins, Jessica split her service hours between AFHA and the Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission (EHLC). Jessica assisted in the graphic design of interpretive materials, including much of the material now on display at the AFHA Discovery Center, and developed a Thematic Tour Map, a tourism development tool which guides visitors through a selection of thematically-related sites within the AFHA region, and which will be uploaded to the AFHA website. At the EHLC, Jessica helped in the preparation of a new National Register nomination and executed a successful social media campaign to raise local awareness of the historic resources within the proposed district and the benefits of national recognition.
This year, Jessica will be serving with the Park Service as an AmeriCorps member through Preserve WV AmeriCorps. This opportunity will allow her to hone her skills in the methodologies of on-site assessment and historical research she practiced during her time in the UK. Jessica will be serving at the offices of the New River Gorge National River in Glen Jean, WV. Known primarily for its scenic beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities, the Park also contains a large, outstanding, and representative group of historic places that testify to the experiences of the diverse people who settled and developed this part of Appalachia from the late 18th through the mid-20th centuries. Of particular interest are historic homesteads such as the Trump-Lily farm and the old railroad town of Thurmond. Jessica’s service at the Park Service will culminate in a final report on the condition and significance of these and other properties throughout the Park, to be utilized by Park Management as an aid to determine maintenance and interpretation strategies.
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