At Community Tree Plantings, Chelsea MacCormack (far left in the photo above) will soon become a familiar face. As our new Volunteer Coordinator, Chelsea will lead the charge at plantings and other volunteer happenings. So what brought her to Casey Trees and what keeps her interested in volunteers? Find out below!
Casey Trees (CT): Welcome to Casey Trees! Tell us, who is Chelsea MacCormack?
Chelsea MacCormack (CM): I am a recent-ish D.C. transplant. I moved here a year and a half ago for an AmeriCorp term at the Capital Area Food Bank. I am originally from a tiny town called Fincastle, VA. (Some people might know the closest city which is Roanoke) I graduated from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) with a degree in Agriculture and Applied Economics and have been an AmeriCorp volunteer two years in a row!
CT: What drew you to Casey Trees?
CM: I was very blessed to have grown up surrounded by tons of green spaces both forests and farm lands, so when I saw that Casey Trees was passionate about providing people in D.C. with that same access to trees and green spaces I was hooked! Everyone should have a favorite tree to sit under and relax or read a good book and I like that we can provide that space for D.C.
CT: How did you get interested in the education/volunteer engagement field?
CM: I love learning through doing and I think that volunteering is really one of the best examples of experiential learning. In previous jobs I have helped volunteers hone their skills for growing their own food, cooking healthy meals, and now plant trees in their neighborhoods. Every one of these volunteers gets to learn a new skill and use it to better their health and their neighborhoods environment.
CT: What inspires you?
CM: I have so many people who inspire me. Number one and two would definitely be my mom and grandma who are both big proponents of serving your community. I grew up volunteering at animal shelters and working on Habitat for Humanity builds with the two of them. I am also inspired through my faith and the people I have met both in my church and every neighborhood communities I have worked/lived in. These communities are always willing to jump in and lend a helping hand even when they are already stretch extremely thin.
CT: If you were a sandwich what kind would you be?
CM: I spent the last year teaching people to cook healthy and delicious meals, so my favorite foods are always changing. Right now, if I had to choose a sandwich to be it would be a chickpea and pepper buffalo salad sandwich. Basically it’s hot sauce with a bunch of mashed chickpeas, peppers, celery, and hummus to pull it all together on some nice sourdough bread. This has literally been my lunch all week.
CT: We’re predictable – do you have a favorite tree?
CM: Dogwood, I grew up with a flowering dogwood right outside my bedroom window. It’s also the state tree of Virginia, so it’s definitely a special tree to me.