Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Take Pride Schools Poster

For all of you Take Pride Schools out there, we now have a new poster for you, promoting the program. Personally, we think it looks pretty sharp, and we'd love to share it with you and your school! So if you're a Take Pride School, or even interested in the program, let us know and we'd be happy to send you a few of the posters.

They're about 2x3, and are a great size for hanging in the halls or classroom.

By the way, if your school hasn't partnered with us yet, you can always find more information on our website...or sign up...HERE


Leave a comment and let us know what you think about the new poster...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pi Beta Phi students restore local river

Over 67 students from Pi Beta Phi School in Tennessee recently spent an afternoon volunteering at three different sites on the Little River (Great Smoky Mountains National Park).

They worked to remove the rock dams that visitors to the park have built over time. The constructed river dams and channels in the river disturb local fishes breeding habits, along with critical habitats for aquatic invertebrates and stream dwelling salamanders.

Local park visitors had built the dams and water channels to create space for tubing down the river, not knowing the effect it would have on the river as a whole.

Great work guys! It looks like they were able to have a good time as well. Check out the photo stream, you can really see a difference.

One of the best parts about the whole day was that no one busted any fingers or toes! Believe me, that’s no small feat.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Wrapping up our first "VolunTour Across America"

Well, we've arrived safe and sound back in Washington, D.C. after a very long and successful VolunTOUR on the West Coast!

We kicked off our tour pitching in at a National Public Lands Day event in Golden Gate National Park Recreation Area. We then journeyed north in our official VolunTour Toyota Prius for several other events, taking us all the way up the Pacific coast to Washington state. The west coast is a beautiful part of the country and I will always treasure the time I spent out there meeting such dedicated citizens and stewards of our land.

We could not have done this without the support from the event organizers and volunteers. It was an honor meeting each and every one of you. I was so inspired visiting with volunteers young and old; from Freemont Middle School students to retired military chaplains, your spirit of giving back represents what makes America so great.

So while this does mark the end of our first VolunTour Across America, it won't be our last! We look forward to working with and visiting as many of you as we can in the future. Send us a line if you'd like to partner with us or get involved in future trips.

Once again...Thank you all!


Sunday, October 7, 2007

VolunTouring to Mount Rainier

Today we visited Mount Rainier National Park. Mount Rainier is located in Central Washington state and is recovering from extremely destructive flooding that took place in November 2006 which you can learn more about HERE:

We were honored to meet with the Mount Rainier National Park Volunteer Coordinator Kevin Bacher who was gracious enough to outline the park's exemplary volunteer program and show us around the park. We were joined by Jill Baum, who is leading the Student Conservation Association Mount Rainier Recovery Effort.

What was most impressive was the way the park has built partnerships with the community in its recovery and the outpouring of support from the volunteers. Tens of thousands of hours were contributed by over 1,500 volunteers this year rebuilding the trails and campsites that were destroyed by the floods.

Our thanks to Kevin Bacher and Jill Baum for their time and dedication. Our best wishes for a continued recovery at this beautiful site!

Here are a couple shots

Lisa Young, Kevin Bacher, Heather Roebke, and Jill Baum at the Paradise Visitor Center

Friday, October 5, 2007

Umpqua River Cleanup

Today we joined students from Fremont Middle School and Riddle Education Center for a cleanup of the Umpqua River in Roseburg, Oregon.

It was a pretty chilly morning, but we had a great turnout with lots of energized students ready to hit the trails and head down to the river.

We found lots of things to remove from the river and its banks, including a car tire! Fremont Middle and Riddle are both Take Pride Schools and we are forever grateful for their ongoing commitment to our public lands. To learn how how your school can sign up to be a Take Pride School, click here!

Our thanks to Joseph Ross and the rest of the staff of the Bureau of Land Management Roseburg Office who helped put this together.

Check out some of the photos below:

Students after a long day of picking up trash

Fremont students volunteering

Heather picking up trash


****UPDATE**** You can view a slideshow of more pics......HERE

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Redwood National Park Awards Ceremony

Today we presented Bob Deal the Take Pride Bronze Award for his service at the Redwoods National Park. Bob is a retired military chaplain who volunteers much of his time at the visitor centers. One of 184 dedicated volunteers at this beautiful park, Mr. Deal has contributed 1,500 hours of service.

It was a privilege to present him this well-deserved honor. Click here to learn more about the Hours of Service Awards program.

Many thanks to Redwoods National Park volunteer coordinator Deborah Savage for putting this event together and providing us a wonderful tour of the Redwoods Forest!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

On the road....

Hey guys,

As you may know, we're on the road all week out here on the West coast. This afternoon we'll be in Crescent City, California for a Volunteer Awards presentation. We will be presenting Bob Deal with the Take Pride in America Bronze Volunteer Service Award, for his dedication to Redwood National Park. Bob has given over 1,500 hours of his time to Redwood park! Incredible...

Check back for more from the road.

The above photo is us driving through the famous Chandelier Redwood tree (established in 400 B.C.).


Monday, October 1, 2007

"VolunTour Across America" in Baker Beach, California

Hello everyone,

We've had a great trip so far on our VolunTOUR! The kickoff on Saturday was a National Public Lands Day event at Baker Beach, an area within Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco.

Volunteers, young and old, showed up to help pick up litter and remove invasive species on a beautiful Saturday morning.

I was so inspired by the community involvement, which included the Parks Conservancy, REI, the National Park Service, and representation from Governor Schwarzenegger's San Francisco office. Check out some of the coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle.

We were blessed with warm weather and plenty of volunteers who made a big impact on this beautiful public space.

Today we continue our trip up the Pacific Coast in our Toyota Prius towards the National Redwood Forest for a volunteer recognition event.

Check out the event photos...HERE