Volunteer with ASPI
Since 1977, ASPI has been working as an advocate to promote sustainable living. We strive to be a resource for people interested in alternative technologies, sustainable food systems, energy conservation, cultural preservation, and environmental protection. We welcome your group to join us as we work to encourage these elements in Appalachia!
Groups who work with us volunteer on a variety of projects at our facilities in Livingston and Mt. Vernon, and with our partners around Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Some projects include trail work, organic gardening, cleanup of illegal dumps, rehabbing outreach and education sites, and buildings and grounds work. Your group may specify what types of projects are best suited for your interests. We hope to provide a valuable learning experience while you are here.
Please allow us six weeks advance notice for visits
Contact us for more information:
"Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve with your organization this past week! During my time as a volunteer, I can honestly say that I learned a lot about the region of Appalachia, and I can only hope that I left the beautiful area of Mt. Vernon better than I found it.
Building high tunnels with the Growing Warriors, I was exposed to the real concerns of war veterans, many of whom have just recently returned from overseas. I know that Joey will make great use of his new high tunnel, and I am glad to have been helpful for the benefit of him and his family. Being surrounded by many veterans during the week, especially on our hike of the Pinnacles with Joey and two of his veteran friends, opened my eyes to their simple, shared desire to provide for their growing families. As someone who hopes to join the military after graduation, this message struck me in a special way and led me to realize the attraction of a peacefully simple life in the Appalachian region after service in the armed forces. I pray that all veterans, especially those I have met this past week, find peace in their lives.
Cleaning up litter with Rockcastle County Solid Waste, I was exposed to the real environmental problems caused by the poverty of many in the Appalachian region. When residents cannot afford cleanup services and must resort to littering, poverty begins to negatively affect the entire community. As expected, it was shocking when, by the end of the day on Tuesday, we had filled up over 200 trash bags full of litter, in addition to 22 tires. Although I was proud of my fellow volunteers for our cleanup efforts, I definitely hope that the work done by ASPI and other organizations in Appalachia can contribute to alleviating the poverty that oftentimes is the root problem behind littering. According to James, litter sites are decreasing in number, so I know that your efforts and the efforts of other great people in Appalachia are indeed helping!
Lastly, our time at the Mary E. Fritsch Nature Center was a very interesting learning experience, helping me realize that living simply can help us all better appreciate the small joys in life. Many people in Appalachia have the opportunity to live solely off their land; this is an opportunity that promotes independence, becoming at one with nature and with God. I learned many resourceful tips and tricks while working with Father Jack, and I enjoyed hearing from him the benefits of organic foods and a vegetarian diet. I cannot forget to mention our time with Hal, whose work served to teach us that determination is more valuable than anything money can buy.
-Nicholas LaRosa, University of Notre Dame '15