Meet Jason Holifield, 2020 VetsWork AmeriCorps Intern!

Growing up in northern California some of my fondest childhood memories were trips with my grandparents to the Redwood Forests. I was simply awe struck to see the world’s tallest trees. This early experience left a lasting impression.

After five years in the military as an Intelligence Analyst, I developed a strong desire to lead a simpler life. I took every opportunity to travel. My first adventure was to Australia, where they live very near to nature. While in Australia, I scuba dived in the Great Barrier Reef, and hiked the Great Ocean Road. I then traveled to China to be a volunteer teacher. One of my favorite things about China is the significant role scholar’s gardens play in Chinese culture. I was fortunate enough to visit several of China’s famous scholar’s gardens and tea garden cities. After leaving China, I went to Sweden. Sweden is made up of over 50% forest land. I enjoyed wandering in the woods, picking wild blueberries and chanterelle mushrooms. I eventually settled back in the U.S., and purchased my own little piece of property in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is an old schoolhouse on five acres full of old growth forest trees, small brooks and a couple of artesian springs. And now I wander my own woods and observe nature.

I’ve always been enthusiastic about learning, as well as, educating others and I am excited to join the Mt. Adams Institute VetsWork program as a volunteer coordinator. I am thrilled to be able to attend the Wilderness Skills Institute, learn about wilderness ethics, and share that knowledge with the public. I hope to draw inspiration and ideas from this internship that I plan to use as a stepping stone to a fulfilling career in forestry!