Thursday, August 6, 2009

Take Pride in America Highlights United We Serve Energy & Environment Focus Week

This week, President Obama's United We Serve initiative will spotlight volunteer initiatives that promote energy efficiency, address climate change, and preserve our natural environment as part of Energy and Environment Week. In June, President Obama announced “United We Serve,” a nationwide summer volunteer service initiative to help meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar followed the President’s announcement with a call to action for every adult to mentor a child outdoors this summer.

In support of Energy and Environment Week and Secretary Salazar’s call to action, the National Wildlife Federation, in partnership with Take Pride in America® and the Department of the Interior participated in three volunteer service events throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on Wednesday, August 5, 2009.

The National Park Service hosted an invasive plant species removal event at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve in Alexandria, Virginia. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service planed an invasive plant species removal project at Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Maryland. The third service site is in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management at Virginia’s Meadowood Special Recreation Area where volunteers repaired a walking trail.

Other Take Pride in America United We Serve partners are also holding events this week around the country. For example, Sierra Club will be hosting a Fishing Day for Kids in Shady Valley, Tennessee, and a Reynolds Creek Trail Maintenance event in Arizona.

In addition to these events, individuals and organizations are encouraged to host their own energy and environmental service events and highlight them online and in the media. Examples of activities for Energy and Environment week include: Trail maintenance and invasive species removal, weatherizing homes or cleaning a stream or river.

Service projects can be promoted online or in the media and volunteers are encouraged to recruit volunteers and share their stories of service on United We Serve will spotlight some of these stories throughout the week.

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

To read the Department of Interior's press release, click HERE.

To read the National Wildlife Federation’s press release, click HERE.

For the Corporation for National & Community Service’s press release about Energy and Environment Focus week, click HERE.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Student Conservation Association Interns Maintain Parks, Essex County, New Jersey

Newark students maintain parks, learn about environment

Thirty high school students, most of them from Newark, New Jersey, maintain parks throughout Essex County as part of a summer internship program run by the Student Conservation Association. Among their many goals, the interns are working to re-route hiking trails, fix erosion and drainage problems, perform tree maintenance, and remove invasive species.

Friday, July 10, 2009

San Diego River Clean-Up, Mission Valley, California

The San Diego River Park Foundation's Clean & Green Team saw 216 volunteers turnout for their June 27th cleanup at the California Fish & Game's Preserve in Mission Valley. The volunteers collected 5,000lbs of trash and an assortment of recyclables materials that included 13 tires and 4 cubic yards of mixed recyclables like: aluminum cans, bottles, and cardboard; and several bags containers with oil products and aerosol cans. Unique items found at this cleanup were: a large blow-up swimming pool, a mattress and box spring set, empty propane tank and barbeque grill. This area of the river is in a dense urban setting. This event was co-sponsored by Pepsi, I Love A Clean San Diego, the Union Bank of California, California Fish & Game, and REI.

Also, at their June 13th Cleanup at the Mission Valley Preserve’s Cottonwood Grove site they had 83 volunteers turnout, and they helped remove 4,700 pounds of trash.

To date, 41,300 pounds (or 20.65 Tons) of trash have been removed from this watershed since October 2008. Wow!