Corps alumni recognized for Joplin tornado response

On January 31, two former Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa members attended a ceremony at the Missouri State Capitol honoring Conservation Corps’ involvement in the Joplin tornado response. Tony Bieker represented Iowa crews who were part of the first deployment to the area, and Jon Johnson represented Minnesota crews and the second deployment. The Missouri House of Representatives passed a resolution, sponsored by Reps. Bill White (R-Joplin) and Charlie Davis (R-Duquesne), recognizing the “indispensible role” of 300 AmeriCorps members from across the country in recovery efforts following the devastating tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, 2011.

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa deployed 22 corps members and leaders to Joplin over six weeks to assist with search and rescue, debris clean-up, donations and volunteer management. Corps members worked 14-hour days, many taking lead roles in overseeing as many as 2,000 volunteers in the field and working alongside other AmeriCorps teams, including National Civilian Community Corps, AmeriCorps St. Louis, Washington Conservation Corps and Hoopa Tribal Civilian Community Corp. In addition to Bieker and Johnson, team members included Joe Anderson, Tom Brenner, Jerry Buker, Scott Cressler, Eric Feld, Hannah Frederick, Michael Goedert, Justin High, Nik Kadel, Ashley LaPlante, Matt McKenney, Ethan Meyer, Hannah Olson, Josh Peterson, Nicole Rath, Jacob Saltzman, Ethan Thies, Joe McGerr, Mark Wilson and Scott Woodin.

Photo: From left, Jon Johnson and Tony Bieker receive plaques recognizing their contribution to the Joplin tornado response, during a ceremony at the Missouri State Capitol.