ELIZABETH, Ill. — The Jo Daviess County Soil and Water Conservation District is sponsoring a team of AmeriCorps volunteers who arrived July 15 and will be in the area until Aug. 2.

Team members are camping at Apple Canyon Lake and will address conservation issues throughout the county and assist the Apple Canyon Lake Property Owner’s Association, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Jo Daviess County Conservation Foundation with priority areas.

Several days will be dedicated to the removal of nuisance vegetation at Apple Canyon Lake. Over the years, the property owner’s association has had increasing issues with non-native plants such as bush honeysuckle and autumn olive. The size of the area in need of treatment may take over a decade to get under control.

Volunteers also will serve the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Lost Mound. Lost Mound has experienced funding shortages and many areas at the site are in need of assistance. Members of the team will help with painting buildings, fences and kiosks, maintaining trails and removing outdated infrastructure at the former military base.

Trail maintenance also will take place at three Jo Daviess County Conservation Foundation sites throughout the county. The foundation regularly depends on volunteer support for upkeep and maintenance on its properties. One of the projects at Schurmeier Teaching Forest will include building a new footbridge.

Mike Malon, resource conservationist with the Jo Daviess County SWCD, submitted an application to sponsor the AmeriCorps team and hopes that this will be the beginning of an annual effort to help conservation efforts in the area.