Tester Announces $4.7 Million in AmeriCorps Funds for Montana

(U.S. Senate)-Senator Jon Tester announced today that Montana will receive a total of $4.7 million in funding for Americorps. The money is made up of $3.4 million in grants and an additional $1.3 million in educational scholarships.

Tester was joined on the call by Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and Dan Ritter, Executive Director of Serve Montana.

“Today, we hear a lot of talk about making America great again, but AmeriCorps volunteers have put talk into action and for over 50 years they’ve worked to make our country a better place,” Tester, a member of the Appropriations Committee, said. “This money will ensure that these volunteers have the resources they need to keep Montana the Last Best Place.”

The grant funding going to Montana breaks down as followed:

  • The Montana Conservation Corps will receive $356,400 to support the Big Sky Watershed Corps Montana. The grant will support 27 AmeriCorps members who will improve the health of Montana’s natural resources, reduce the impact of drought, and increase community members’ knowledge of environmentally conscious practices. 
  • The Montana Conservation Corps will also receive a second grant of $1.8 million to engage a total of 313 AmeriCorps members who will mitigate invasive weeds, reduce wildfire risks, and restore natural habitat. In addition, they will install low-cost weatherization measures to make homes of low-income residents more energy efficient. 
  • FoodCorps will receive $127,130 to support 11 AmeriCorps members who will connect children in public schools to healthy food through nutrition education, school gardens, and improved school lunch offerings across the state.
  • Montana Legal Services will receive $226,945 to engage 18 AmeriCorps members who will help low-income individuals find the legal information they need to solve their legal problems.
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will receive $167,161 to support 20 AmeriCorps members who will improve 360 acres of state park land, deliver education programs, and facilitate new community partnerships. 
  • ServeMontana will receive $654,123 to make additional AmeriCorps grants to Montana nonprofits this summer.

Tester has fought for strong funding of Americorps and voted for an HHS-Labor Appropriations bill after urging the chair and ranking member to include strong funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service, Americorps’ parent organization.

Americorps projects in Montana have previously included restoring Hidden Lake Trail in Glacier National Park and stabilizing a chicken coop in Bannack State Park.