Northern Nevada – Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey’s 2017-2018 VISTA staff member is Marielle Toll.
“Marielle brings a whole host of skills and talents to the position,” said Healthy Communities’ director Wendy Madson. “She designed websites for area businesses such as The Nurturing Nest in Reno, was chosen as a photo assistant by internationally acclaimed photographer Frances Melhop for a 2016 photo shoot on the Comstock, and earned a Residency with the Resident Artist Program in Silver City in the “Emerging Young Artists” category. Marielle was invited to show her artwork in the 2016 Wild Women Artists exhibition ‘Many Moons’ in Reno, which included work by artists such as Sidne Teske, Marti Bein, and Trish Reynolds. One of Marielle’s hobbies is golf – she said she plans to check out the local golf course. During high school, her golf coach saw her ace the 110-yard No. 3 hole at Indian Creek Country Club!”
Connecting Communities Through Food: During her year of service as a VISTA member, Marielle is working with the Dayton community to form “Wellness Circles,” weekly gatherings focused on building strong and connected communities through food and promotion of wellness strategies. Her work will build on Healthy Communities’ existing weekly Wellness Warrior support groups, monthly free healthy cooking classes, summer farmers markets, and other Healthy Food Hub strategies.
Photographing Silver Springs’ Food Initiatives: Marielle will also serve as a visiting artist with the Silver Springs Arts Hub, photographing the many innovative food system projects the community has, such as the GREEN Team’s food waste reduction system at the schools, the volunteer-powered food pantry, the community garden and hoop house, etc. Silver Springs locals will then be invited to choose 24 of their favorite images for development as postcards showcasing some of the town’s assets.
Beautiful Lyon County Campaign: In addition, Marielle will develop a social media campaign around images of the stunning landscapes, farms and ranches, wildlife, historic buildings, unique events, and inhabitants of Lyon County’s diverse communities, which span nearly 2,000 square miles. At the end of the year, there will be a “People’s Vote” so that Lyon County residents can choose images for a 2019 “Beautiful Lyon County” calendar.
Graphic Design: Marielle is also creating new presentations, brochures, fliers and more about the food pantries, weekend food backpack programs for students, community gardens and hoop houses, nonprofit garden center, healthy cooking classes, school garden internships, and other elements of Healthy Communities’ “Healthy Food Hub.”
About VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America: AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members serve with organizations, such as Healthy Communities Coalition, that strengthen communities. VISTA members serve as catalysts for change, living and working alongside community members to advance local solutions. VISTA members contribute their skills and talents to make a positive difference while earning invaluable professional experience, a living stipend, a $5,920 Segal Education Award, a Healthcare Plan, and more.
Healthy Communities Coalition has two additional openings for VISTA members to serve in the region. Contact Healthy Communities at 246-7550 to apply.
VISTA was conceived by President John F. Kennedy as a domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps and was started by President Lyndon Johnson as part of the War on Poverty. It is the national service program that works to eliminate poverty. In 1994, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs. Today, AmeriCorps VISTA is as vibrant and necessary as ever.