Conservation Volunteers Honored During National Volunteers Week
ATHENS, GA (April 15 , 2013) --USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is celebrating National Volunteer Week April 21-27, by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation.
Earth Team is the agency’s volunteer workforce of more than 19,000. In fiscal year 2012, they collectively donated 305,564 hours of service to NRCS nationwide, worth approximately $6.7 million.
NRCS State Conservationist James E. Tillman, Sr. said Earth Team volunteers are making an environmental impact in Georgia. Last year 114 volunteers donated 2,309.5 hours. “That’s worth $50,324 of benefit to our customers and the taxpayers,” said Tillman. “These are impressive numbers, and we are grateful for the help, but we also recognize much more conservation work needs to be done.”
Earth Team is a program that partners volunteers with NRCS employees. It was created in 1985 and offers many opportunities to individuals older than 14 who are interested in volunteering to improve the nation’s natural resources. Earth Team volunteers help NRCS conservationists provide private landowners and others a range of services from conservation technical assistance to teaching and generating awareness about conservation through the use of community projects.
“The NRCS theme for this year ‘Celebrate Volunteers’ puts it best,” said Tillman. “Earth Team Volunteers allow us to stretch available resources and help us put additional conservation practices on the ground. Their volunteer efforts help us improve our land and wildlife habitat, clean our water and air, and they help us improve the environment for everyone.” Tillman said he hopes National Volunteer Week will motivate others to volunteer to help NRCS with its conservation mission.
To learn more about NRCS and the Earth Team Volunteer Program in Georgia, you can visit www.ga.nrcs.usda.gov/volunteers.html.
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