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Heavy lifting: Americorps volunteers helped prepare symphony site for guests

Caroline Meyer and Natalie Daffern pick up rocks to clear a walking path for guests to safely walk from the parking area to the event site. Meyer and Daffern were a part of the Americorps team helping set up the event. (Photo by Olivia Babin)

By Olivia Babin

On Monday, June 10, several young adults spent their morning picking up rocks in Irma’s pasture near Bazaar — an exercise in futility, it seemed, as that Flint Hills pasture is incredibly rocky terrain. They were helping clear the walking path at the Symphony in the Flint Hills site, hoping to keep visitors from stubbing toes, twisting ankles or worse. 

Not many people would do volunteer work for almost a year, but that’s exactly what Americorp volunteers do.

Ten Americorp volunteers spent about 20 days in the area, helping Symphony in the Flint Hills staff. They painted the Bazaar rock sign on the side of the hill, painted some cattle pens near the entrance of the symphony site, helped stuff and organize volunteer totes and helped the staff load up all the supplies that would go out to the site. And they picked up rocks. 

Caroline Meyer removes rocks from a pathway guiding guests to the event site. The Americorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC)’s mission is to is “To strengthen communities and develop leaders through team-based national and community service.” (Photo by Olivia Babin)

“They picked up a lot of rocks. And then they picked up more rocks,” said Kelly Tastove, Symphony in the Flint Hills donor relations manager.

Americorps is an organization similar to the Peace Corps but works within the United States. They send people to communities all over the country to work with schools, nonprofits and businesses that are bettering their communities. 

They spend 10 months traveling all over the country completing projects. 

Symphony in the Flint Hills is just one of the hundreds of organizations that benefits from the volunteer help. The team is based out of Denver and worked in partnership with Dirty Kanza, a gravel bicycle race in Emporia, as well as the Symphony in the Flint Hills. 

Caroline Meyer and Natalie Daffern work to clear a path for guests to walk up to the symphony site. (Photo by Daniel Caudill)