Monday, July 14, 2008

LA Conservation Corps

Take Pride ED Katie Loovis with LA Conservation Corps volunteers and US Forrest Service Leadership
LA Conservation Corps leadership Bruce Saito and Dan Knapp graciously hosted Take Pride in America Executive Director Katie Loovis on several site visits in July throughout the Los Angeles area.

One stop was at a national forest where a U.S. Forrest Service leader Fabian Garcia introduced Katie to a group of conservation corps student volunteers that are a part of the Southern California Consortium - an environmental education program engaging disadvantaged youth in the outdoors.

During the visit, Katie observed the students volunteering in a compelling tree planting project. The students formed a human chain to transport the planted seedlings into the truck to ship to northern california to plant post-wildfires - a meaningful outdoor project in nature for the students that also yielded tangible results helping in the long-term recovery in northern California.

LA Conservation Corps Student Volunteers in Action2

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yuma group has outstanding cleanup year!

Last year, the Yuma (AZ) Bureau of Reclamation office had a banner year in their cleanup efforts of the Colorado River and nearby canals.

Consider this, below is an email from Jack Simes, detailing all of the work they accomplished.

With the help of 30 other agencies we had 809 volunteers show up at our six events
and with support from Take Pride in America we collected: 526 tons of
trash and deposited that in to a proper landfill; recycled 2,253 tires;
recycled 46 abandoned automobiles; recycled 7 abandoned recreation
trailers and 1 RV; recycled 6 tons of scrap metal; and recycled 30
gallons of used motor oil.

These pictures are evidence of what a man-made disaster in the desert looks like -
a real mess.

These pictures and statistics show the real need for volunteers to help take care of our land. Jack, as always, your group never ceases to amaze us!
County 19th looking west
County 19th looking Southeast

Boy Scouts of America ArrowCorps5 Conservation Project

boy scouts 2

In preparation for a week of service to the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests, nearly 60 members of the Boy Scouts of America Honor Society, the Order of the Arrow, recently completed their Conservation USA Training (on June 21).

The CUSA Trained individuals then served as Squad Leaders as members of the ArrowCorps5 conservation project on June 22-27, 2008.

Projects were conducted on two districts of the National Forest and were unique to its operations. The James River District offered participants the opportunity to construct a new five-mile horseback trail system. While the Warm Springs District project required arrowmen the chance to construct a much-needed trail from the park Marina to its beach about a mile in distance, refurbish minor trails and clear campsites of invasive plant species.

The 60 Squad Leaders supervised over 400 other volunteers conducting over 71,000 hours of service resulting in difficult hand construction of 8.2 miles of new multi-user trails (some of which has been renamed the ArrowCorps Loop), 6 new walk-in campsites,
large information bulletin boards, and 86 trail signs.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

George B. Hartzog

The entire Take Pride organization mourns the recent loss of George B. Hartzog. The National Park Service offered a nice tribute to George, and his legacy, in a recent press release. Please see below...

National Park Service mourns the passing of a great leader and visionary
Former NPS Director George Hartzog leaves a broad legacy of accomplishment

George B. Hartzog, Jr., March 17, 1920 – June 27, 2008, served as the seventh director of the National Park Service (NPS). During his nine-year tenure, 1964 to 1973, Hartzog led the largest expansion of the National Park System in its history. During those nine years, seventy-two sites were added to the National Park System, sites that included national parks, historical and archeological monuments, recreation areas, seashores, riverways, memorials, and cultural units celebrating minority experiences. Hartzog was a visionary and his efforts went a long way in enlarging the agency’s role in urban recreation, historic preservation, interpretation, and environmental education.

“George Hartzog was one of the great champions of the National Park Service,” said NPS Director Mary A. Bomar. “His vision of what the national parks should be and should mean to the American people left an indelible mark on the agency he so loved and believed in. His goal of making the National Park Service relevant to people who previously had been overlooked, especially minorities and women, has strengthened our agency.”

“I was fortunate to have known Mr. Hartzog, he truly inspired me early in my career as he did so many others who knew him through the impact of his legacy. Once I assumed my Directorship - we got to know each other personally then I found myself truly inspired by him -his big ideals of public service, as well as his passion for the National Park Service and its employees. My special memory of him was at the White House this past Christmas celebrating our National Parks --he was so happy at that event.
Our hearts go out to his wife Helen and their children who I know will miss him greatly. His National Park Service family will miss him too, but we all thank him for helping make us what we are today.”

Hartzog joined the NPS in 1946, when he entered the service as an Attorney. Field assignments as Assistant Superintendent at Great Smoky Mountains and Rocky Mountains national parks came along soon after. While serving in St. Louis, he brought to completion one of America’s most recognizable landmarks, the Gateway Arch.
Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall noted "Hartzog was able to leave behind a legacy that to this day is unsurpassed in the amount of land acquired, and the amount of legislation passed to protect public lands.” He described Hartzog as a reminder "of the glories of public service and the legacies our best bureaucrats leave to future generations."

There are many achievements as NPS Director that Hartzog was proud of, but it was his resolve that the NPS should reflect the Nation’s increased awareness for minorities that might stand the highest in many people’s eyes. Hartzog made it a high priority to advance programs that would include minorities. During his tenure he named the first African American park superintendent, the first female superintendent from the career ranks, the first Native American superintendent, and the first African American chief of a major U.S. police department. – the United States Park Police.

Former NPS Director James Ridenour noted, “George Hartzog was one of a kind. He probably had a closer relationship with Members of Congress than any director, before or after, during his years of leadership of the National Park Service. His was common sense
leadership. Most of us who have led the NPS have felt the weight of political pressure from both parties as we carried out our duties but George had a way doing the right thing despite those pressures. He will be missed.”

Read more HERE.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

National Wildlife Refuges are now on Google Earth

For anyone interested in National Wildlife Refuges, or just plain curious, you should check out Google Earth. Take Pride's very own Just Kintz shared this with me this morning, and I thought it was useful enough to pass along. Read the full details HERE on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's website.

Google Earth, the most popular virtual globe on the Internet today, is now serving the boundaries of national wildlife refuges. Anyone using Google Earth can see the locations of national wildlife refuges simply by navigating to "Places of Interest" in the "Layers" palette, and selecting "US Fish and Wildlife Service boundary" under the "Parks and Recreation Areas" category.

To virtually "fly to" a refuge, Web users can enter the name of a town (and the state) located near a refuge under the "search" tab on the upper left side of the screen. Use the "zoom" tools in the upper right side of the screen to view the refuge boundary (or boundaries).

The appearance of refuge boundaries is the just the start of building public awareness about the Refuge System via Google Earth. By early next year or sooner, each refuge boundary on Google Earth will be linked to a pop-up window with brief descriptions of refuges, including visitor information, a photo and a link to the refuge Web site. Other data fields will be offered, including information on trails, roads and public facilities.