2010 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and represents a great opportunity for schools to capture student interest in environmental issues by engaging them in service-learning projects. See the press release below for information on national efforts to engage volunteers in energy and environmental issues this week:
From: National Service Press Office
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 5:30 PM
To: _Corporation All Staff
Subject: United We Serve Highlights Energy and Environment Week
For Immediate Release Contact: Sandy Scott
August 3, 2009 email@example.com, 202-606-6724
United We Serve Highlights Energy and Environment Week
From building trails and restoring parks to weatherizing homes and teaching environmental education, millions of volunteers make a critical contribution to energy independence and environmental stewardship each year. Through Energy and Environment Week, August 3-9, United We Serve will spotlight some of these projects and success stories on its blog at Serve.gov.
A wide range of organizations are participating, including the Department of Interior, the Department of Energy, Take Pride in America, The Nature Conservancy, the National Wildlife Federation, the Corps Network, the Sierra Club, Community Action Agencies, the Student Conservation Association, Groundwork USA, and Habitat for Humanity.
“As millions of Americans enjoy parks and public lands this summer, we hope they will be inspired to volunteer,” said Nicola Goren, acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Serve, which is leading the Administration’s United We Serve initiative. “Whether preserving natural treasures for future generations or helping
Service and volunteering have a long and proud history in the nation’s parks and public lands, dating back to the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps. Today hundreds of modern-day conservation and youth corps, many part of AmeriCorps, perform similar work preserving natural habitats, restoring parks and streams, weatherizing homes, building and maintaining trails, and teaching the next generation the joy and importance of getting outdoors.
“Children today spend half as much time outdoors as their parents and this has significant implications for our children's health, the economy and the future of American conservation,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar when he launched the Department’s participation in United We Serve in June. “This summer, as part of President Obama's new United We Serve campaign, I encourage all Americans to serve by mentoring a child in the great outdoors and introducing them to our nation's treasured landscapes.”
Examples of activities taking place during Energy and Environment Week include:
· Trail Construction and Invasive Plant Removal: The National Wildlife Federal is partnering with federal land management agencies on three environmental service projects on August 5: removing invasive plant species with the National Park Service at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve in Alexandria, VA; repairing a walking trail with the Bureau of Land Management at Virginia’s Meadowood Special Recreation Area, and removing invasive plants at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, MD. (Click here for more info)
· Improving Groundwater in Appalachia: During the week of August 3, the Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team led by AmeriCorps VISTA members will take new volunteers out to streams in multiple states (MD, PA, OH, WV, TN, VA) that are affected by pollution from factories and mines to test groundwater and clean up streams to make the water safe for drinking and recreation. (Click here for more info)
· Cleaning the Anacostia River, Washington DC: The Earth Conservation Corps, a nonprofit that engages DC youth in the restoration of the Anacostia River, is inviting volunteers to clean up shoreline trash and remove invasive plants at Kenilworth Park on August 5. (Click her for more info)
· Weatherizing Homes in
· Removing Invasive Species with The Nature Conservancy, Fairfax County, VA: On Thursday, Aug. 6 and Saturday, Aug. 8, the Virginia Native Plant Society, Potomac Gorge weed warriors, and The Nature Conservancy will host a volunteer project to remove wavy leaf basket grass, a new invasive species at the Fraser Preserve in Fairfax County, VA. The project hopes to eradicate the fast-growing species before it spreads. (Click here for more info)
· Restoring the Appalachian Trail: Volunteers with
· Building Energy Efficient Homes,
In addition to these projects, organizations participating in United We serve are encouraged to sponsor energy and environmental service projects and highlight them to the public and media as a way to recruit additional volunteers for efforts throughout the year.
Upcoming United We Serve issue weeks are Health (August 10-17) and Safety and Security (August 24-30). The final week (August 31-September 6) will focus on service by people of faith and faith-based organizations. The first issue week, Community Renewal, was July 20-26, followed by Education Week (July 27-August 2).
United We Serve is President Obama’s call to service challenging all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful community service. United We Serve initially runs from June 22 through a new National Day of Service on September 11, but will grow into a sustained, collaborative and focused effort to promote service as a way of life for all Americans. United We Serve is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information, visit Serve.gov.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation engages four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.