In 2015, the Stormwater Management Team began to sponsor two AmeriCorps members. The Community Action Committee (CAC) AmeriCorps is an environmental service program that has been in operation in Knoxville, TN since 1994. It currently consists of about 60 members serving in different organizations throughout Knoxville and the surrounding Eastern Tennessee region. This program is committed to human and environmental justice in our communities through completing acts of service. CAC AmeriCorps members work to improve public lands, streams and greenways, educate the public, meet immediate human needs through disaster response, eliminate barriers to employment, contribute to healthier lifestyles and build volunteer capacity to enhance the ability of our partners to get things done. The AmeriCorps members at Oak Ridge are responsible for running the Healthy Waters program, completing the public outreach and education components of the NPDES permit, facilitating the Adopt-A-Stream program, building relationships with other organizations, and participating in water quality education. Each of the AmeriCorps Stormwater Teams that have served in Oak Ridge have brought unique individuals, new ideas and advances to the Stormwater Division.
Check Out Our Teams!
Madeline Lyons (August 2021-June 2022)
Madeline is from Georgia and graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Science. In college, she worked with a community in the Blue Ridge Mountains to find practical ways to manage the local wildlife populations by involving residents and hopefully changing their behavior to promote a more sustainable coexistence. Madeline is looking forward to serving in Oak Ridge and working with the local community to educate and raise awareness on the importance of a healthy stormwater system, while also learning more about outreach and leaving the city better than when she came.
Vanessa Vaughn (January-December 2022)
Vanessa is from Maryville, Tennessee. She graduated from The University of Alabama in May 2021 with her BS in Environmental Science. While in college, Vanessa became interested in environmental education and outreach by interning at her college’s arboretum and at Zoo Knoxville. Vanessa is passionate about the environment, and she is excited to learn about water quality issues and how to best educate the Oak Ridge community.
Abbie is from Cadillac, MI. She just graduated from Alma College of Alma, MI with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies-Science. In college, she partook in an assessment of the Chippewa and Pine River Watersheds prior to the placement of a hog CAFO working with the Sierra Club of Michigan. Through her college experiences, she has developed a greater appreciation for the environment and looks forward to continuing learning and sharing with others as she begins a new stage of her life in Oak Ridge.
Mackenzie Bellimam and Molly Goodman
MacKenzie moved to East Tennessee from Alexandria, Virginia, after graduating from Emory & Henry College with a degree in Environmental Studies. During her time in college, MacKenzie fell in love with the Appalachian Mountains and East Tennessee.
“I never thought that a girl from the coast could ever adore the mountains with such wonder; the grace of nature that surrounds East Tennessee is what has drawn me to serve this abundantly biodiverse region,” she said.
MacKenzie is excited to collaborate with the local community and to learn more about how to protect local waterways through the maintenance of municipal stormwater systems. She hopes to later incorporate this knowledge and her experience into a career within the field of water resource management.
Molly graduated from Union College (Schenectady, New York) with a degree in Environmental Science. During her time at Union College, Molly enjoyed animating her academic studies by working on projects with a strong emphasis on sustainability and environmental awareness.
With such diligence, Molly accomplished a project that included the solo-acquisition, development, and management of a $25,000 grant which included the installation of a native rain garden. The focus of the rain garden is for plants to attract pollinator species and provide nesting materials and habitats for small animals and birds. She is looking forward to positively contributing to the Oak Ridge community and is thankful for the hospitality she has experienced thus far!
Kaitlyn Klema and Tabitha Duggan
Tabitha moved to Tennessee from Winder, Georgia after graduating from Georgia College and State University with a degree in Public Health and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Tabitha is excited to serve the City of Oak Ridge, collaborate with the local community, and to learn more about the importance of sustainability and conservation through the maintenance of municipal stormwater systems. She hopes to later incorporate this knowledge into a career within the field of emergency management.
Kait grew up in the Connecticut River Valley in New Hampshire. She graduated from Smith College in western Massachusetts with a degree in Environmental Geoscience and a minor in Japanese. Before moving to Tennessee, she taught English for two years in Japan, but wants to get back into the sciences, specifically with environmental education and outreach. Kait is really looking forward to getting to know the City of Oak Ridge and its local community, and to improve the health of its local waters.
Sarah Benham and Haley Brinkley
Sarah moved to Oak Ridge from Corvallis, Oregon where she graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Environmental Sciences and a concentration in Conservation, Resources and Sustainability. Sarah’s favorite part about working for the City of Oak Ridge has been meeting all the wonderful community members who attend our events. Her plan for the future is to continuing working with communities to help promote sustainability and conservation.
Haley was born and raised in North Carolina. She graduated from North Carolina State University with her degree in Environmental Engineering and has been pursuing stormwater experience ever since. Haley loves learning about the City of Oak Ridge and encouraging community members to take action. She plans to pursue a career in water resource engineering to create solutions for environmental issues.
Jessica Wykoff and Danielle Gerlach
Tina Ball and Caitlin Craighead
Erin Kelby and Ellen Comeau