National service protects ecosystems, reduces wildfire damage and increases government tax revenue according to recent study

WASHINGTON, DC— AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, released today a return-on-investment study to measure the value of federal funding invested in its environmental stewardship programs. AmeriCorps grantee Nevada Conservation Corps, an environmental service program dedicated to promoting field research and direct conservation service, returns as much as $90.28 for every federal dollar invested.

ROI analyses help measure program performance and build the base of evidence for future resource decisions by estimating the monetary value of benefits that a program generates per dollar invested. The total benefits are driven by favorable employment and education opportunities for AmeriCorps members following their service, increased tax revenues and reduced lifetime spending on corrections, public assistance and social insurance.

“Conservation corps are a critical resource to combat the threats of climate change,” said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. “Programs like Nevada Conservation Corps not only lead to positive benefits for the government, they expand opportunity for young people and veterans while training the next generation of conservation and climate resilience leaders.”

Nevada Conservation Corps has been an AmeriCorps program since 1999, supporting the state’s communities and public lands. It deploys forestry teams to mitigate fire threats, reduce the spread of invasive species, and restore and redesignate trails.

The study monetized Nevada Conservation Corps’ outcomes associated with preserved ecosystem services and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. Key benefits include:

  • Reduced wildfire damage
  • Improved ecosystems
  • Increased post-service earnings by AmeriCorps members
  • Increased living allowances, stipends, and education awards to AmeriCorps members
  • Increased tax revenue for government

AmeriCorps has provided funding and people power to support conservation, renewable energy and community resilience projects for almost three decades. In 2021, 16,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers improved more than 400,000 acres of parks and public lands; treated 14,500 miles of trails and rivers; weatherized and retrofitted more than 7,000 homes and public structures; protected and restored nearly 1,000 structures after natural disasters; and provided environmental stewardship education and training to more than 200,000 individuals. Read more about AmeriCorps’ work on climate resilience.

AmeriCorps was recognized for outstanding performance in the Results for America’s 2021 Invest in What Works Federal Standard of Excellence, a report that measures agencies data-driven decision-making to improve the impact of federal investments. Specifically, AmeriCorps was highlighted for the agency’s use of data and evidence to increase the impact of national service grants in more than 40,000 communities to make government investment as effective and efficient as possible.