Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Youth Service America and Disney are pleased to launch a second round of Disney Minnie Grants to engage children and youth, ages 5-14 as community volunteers.

The selected applications will receive $500 to support their youth-led service projects. The deadline is August 30 and projects must take place October 15-November 15, 2008.

Grantees from the first round of Disney awards of 2008 are eligible to apply.

Visit www.YSA.org/awards for more information and application materials.

You can review past award recipients from all over the world at:

http://ysa.org/AwardsGrants/DisneyMinnieGrants/DisneyMinnieGrantees2008/tabid/292/Defau lt.aspx

Friday, June 20, 2008

NPLD Tour Grants Application Extension

Hey guys,
We just received this from our friends over at National Public Lands Day, and I wanted to make sure you had all seen it.

National Public Lands Day Tour Grants 2008
Deadline for Pre-Applications is Now June 27, 2008
The deadline for grant applications for the 4th annual National Public Lands Day Tour , sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. has been extended to Friday, June 27, 2008.

Grantees will be awarded $1,000.00 to assist with planning and materials for their upcoming National Public Lands Day project on September 27, 2008.

Grants will be delivered in person by National Public Lands Day Program Director, Robb Hampton, in a hybrid Prius donated to the National Environmental Education Foundation by Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.

This year, the National Public Lands Day Tour will focus on the Northeast/Mid Atlantic/New England and Midwest/Upper Rocky Mountain regions of the United States.

Sites in the following states are eligible to receive funding: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Colorado.

For more information and to apply for a NPLD Tour Grant, visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/tour/2008-tour-app.htm
If you have questions, please contact Claudia Kessel, National Public Lands Day Program Coordinator at (202) 261-6478 or kessel@neefusa.org

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

National Get Outdoors Day Cleanup

This past weekend, Take Pride in America® hosted a cleanup event at Anacostia Park, in commemoration of Great Outdoors Month and National Get Outdoors Day. The morning cleanup was held to clear away downed trees and debris from the local boat ramp, in order to clear the way for a group of several dozen disadvantaged youth to go canoeing later that day for National Get Outdoors Day.

As you can see from the pictures, there was plenty of trash and junk to be removed. It's impressive the difference that a small group of committed volunteers can make!

Thanks to all the volunteers that showed up, the local children were able to get outside and enjoy canoeing for National Get Outdoors day. Volunteers joined together from Take Pride in America, the American Recreation Coalition, and other partner organizations.

For more information on the day's activities, please visit http://www.nationalgetoutdoorsday.org/locations/detail/?id=10.

Here is the before picture...

About halfway through, getting ready to load the dump truck with all the trash...
6-14-08 007

A few of the children enjoying the canoes on National Get Outdoors Day...
6-14-08 019

Monday, June 16, 2008

San Gorgonio High School Seniors Receive the Silver President's Volunteer Service Award


Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne recently presented Kaylee Hrisoulas and Elizabeth Harkey with the Silver President’s Volunteer Service Award for their service to America’s public lands.

The presentation took place during San Gorgonio High School’s commencement ceremony. Kaylee and Elizabeth are the founders of a school environmental group known as Earth Savers, and have each donated over 200 hours of their time and talents to our public lands in the past year.

The Silver President’s Volunteer Service Award is one of the highest awards Take Pride in America bestows, for those who by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.

2008 Conference on Volunteering and Service


I recently had the pleasure of (wo)manning the Take Pride in America® exhibit booth at the 2008 Conference on Volunteering and Service held in Atlanta, GA. The event had over 4,000 registered attendees and I think I saw about half of them during my time at our booth.

I had numerous people come by the booth and I told whoever would listen, and even some who probably didn't want to listen, about the Take Pride in America program. There were many who had never heard of us, some of had heard of us but they weren't quite sure what we did, and then there were some who knew all about us. I was thrilled that people were interested in what I had to say until I found out that most of them stopped because they saw the picture of our national spokesperson, Clint Eastwood! That's okay; I don't care what made them stop - I took advantage of every opportunity presented to talk about Take Pride and to make sure everyone knew to check out website at www.TakePride.gov for more comprehensive information.

I did meet some very special people that I would like to give a "shout out" to:

- Mr. Bert Smith, of the Center for Constitutional Studies: Mr. Smith stopped by my booth first thing Monday morning and introduced himself. He and I started talking about my son, Billy (he is 11 and smart as a whip and I could talk about him all day long!) and he went to his booth and brought back a pocket sized copy of the US Constitution as well as a folder with a poster size copy of the Constitution and several other pieces of material on the Constitution. He told me that this was material that the Center had sent to all of the schools in the US that teachers could use to help them teach their students about the US Constitution. My son and I have been been checking it out; although we haven't had an opportunity to check out the DVD that was included. That is next on our agenda. So a great big thank you to Mr. Smith from me and my son.

- Ms. Geneva Dorsey, a Special Education Teacher and Change Agent for Service Nation: It seemed like I ran into Geneva every time I left my booth to wander around the Exhibits. I finally got her to come to our booth and we had a nice chat about some of the things that we can do with the schools in Minnesota. So, Ms. Geneva, I'll be in touch so we can discuss getting some of the schools in your area signed up as Take Pride Schools. As you can see I am still "working it."

-Mr. John Parsons, Director Eastern Idaho RSVP: John came by the booth and asked questions about our website and registering events. He would then go to the Cyber Cafe and check it out. Once he did that then he would come back to us. I got to see John several times and hear some of his great volunteer stories. Take Pride Director Katie Loovis was at the booth during one of his visits and spent a great deal of time "picking" his brains for some ideas. Thanks for stopping by John and for your great ideas!

Many people dropped their business card in our basket to receive our newsletter and to try and win a Take Pride Prize Pack. Since we had so many cards to choose from we selected 2 winners and they are: Mani Hull, Interim Executive Director Tennessee Campus Compact and Lydia Ramirez, RSVP Manager Northern Santa Clara County. Congratulations to both of you and your prize pack is on its way.

I want to thank everyone who stopped by our booth. I really enjoyed the interaction with each and every one of you. I hope to be able to see some of you again sometime! Take care and keep doing what you're doing - you folks are awesome!

Pat Kennedy
Program Assistant
Take Pride in America

Monday, June 9, 2008

Grant Opportunity: National Public Lands Day Tour Grants

The National Environmental Education Foundation is seeking grant applications for the 4th annual National Public Lands Day Tour sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.

Grantees will be awarded $1,000.00 to assist with planning and materials for their upcoming National Public Lands Day (NPLD) project on September 27, 2008. This year's grants will fund National Public Lands Day projects in the following states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, or Montana.

A simple Grant Application is due by June 23, 2008.

For more information and to apply for an NPLD Tour Grant, visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/tour/2008-tour-app.htm.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Tuckahoe Elementary School

I just found these pictures from an impressive event that Tuckahoe Elementary School conducted for Earth Day.

Take Pride May 08

This was a schoolwide event, with 500+ students, teachers, and parents involved. They joined together to clean up and improve their Discovery Schoolyard and the adjacent Tuckahoe Park.

The second grade class spent their energies cleaning up the Friendship Garden and planting butterfly plants in their Art/Butterfly Garden. The kindergarten class held outdoor expeditions and planted flowers in Bean Sprout Corner. The first graders went on a scavenger hunt around the school and learned about the third grade's dry streambed construction to alleviate erosion into the Chesapeake Bay. The third grade planted native plants in their meadow restoration project. Fourth graders spent their time readying their Colonial Village gardens and site for their annual fair. Last but certainly not least, the fifth grade class cleaned up around their Greek Pavilion, planted native plants on the hillside above Peter Rabbit's Garden, and planted recycled milk jugs for the Arlington Food Assistance Center salad share program.

Check out the pictures, this was a truly impressive Earth Day school project. Tuckahoe Elementary School, you guys did a great job! Keep up the good work.

I especially like the unique names to all of the different gardens and sites around the school grounds.

Take Pride May 08 (3)

Take Pride May 08 (2)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Great Outdoors Month

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

From the Appalachian Mountains to the Grand Canyon, America is blessed with places of natural beauty where our citizens can discover the full splendor of this great Nation. During Great Outdoors Month, our Nation celebrates the grandeur of our open spaces, strengthens our commitment to preserving this heritage, and reaffirms our dedication to protecting our air, water, and lands.

My Administration remains dedicated to wise stewardship of the environment, and we will continue to protect our Nation's natural wonders. This past year, we have made great strides in helping wildlife thrive and in restoring habitat for migratory birds through cooperative conservation. Working with State and tribal officials, we are preserving important wildlife habitats and expanding the National Wildlife Refuge system. Citizens can visit takepride.gov to learn more about opportunities to care for our environment.

Great Outdoors Month is an opportunity to honor those who work to keep our natural places beautiful and to celebrate some of our country's favorite outdoor pastimes. These activities encourage a healthy lifestyle and give Americans pride in the great American landscape. As responsible stewards of our natural resources, we can help ensure that the great outdoors will be available for enjoyment by generations to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2008 as Great Outdoors Month. I call on all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities, and to take time to visit and enjoy the great outdoors.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.


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