Service-Learning in Appalachia with First Parish Youth: Part 2

by Amizade Global Service-Learning

working in the trees

This summer, 60 members of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church traveled from Arlington, Massachusetes to one of Amizade’s  newest sites in Williamson, West Virginia. Throughout their week in Appalachia, the group is serving and learning together with Amizade’s community partner, Sustainable Williamson, as well as other local community members and groups. Check out some of the highlights of their trip so far! For more, visit the group’s blog, West Virginia Service Trip.


Reclaiming the Land

While the practice of mountain top removal and strip mining can be scarring to the land, many are surprised to learn how resilient the land can be and how quickly new growth can occur. As part of their service with Sustainable Williamson, the group spent time in an orchard that has been planted in one of these reclamation projects. Sadly this has created new problems such as various diseases that can attack the different fruits. The volunteers spent some time removing diseased peaches from one part of this orchard.

diseased peachesworking in the trees








A Local Man Who Has Done It All

At the end of their program, the group had the pleasure of hearing some music and words of wisdom from Jimmy Wolford, a local man who “has done it all.”  From serving as a drummer in the navy to working on Hubert Humphrey’s campaign to his friendships with Lorne Greene and Jack Palance to his songwriting about the Hatfields and McCoys, he sure has done a lot. He had a great sense of humor and some words of wisdom to share that we’ll take with us forever…

“You can’t be 100% right and you can’t be 100% wrong, but you can be 100% kind.”

“If you get a chance, go everywhere and take the best part of you with you.”
Jimmy Wolford