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News Release

Conservation Volunteers Honored During National Volunteer Week

Indianapolis, IN, March 24, 2014 -USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is celebrating National Volunteer Week April 6th-13th by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation.

Earth Team is the agency’s volunteer workforce, and nationally, in fiscal year 2013, more than 22,000 people donated 330,084 hours of service to NRCS worth approximately $7.3 million. 

“Volunteers work closely with our staff, and they play an important role in our state’s conservation work,” said Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist.   Indiana was sixth in the nation for the number of volunteer hours reported, with more 1,920 volunteers contributing 17,725 hours.  These volunteers played a vital role in assisting Indiana NRCS and our partners with our critical conservation work. 

“We are grateful for the help, but we also recognize much more conservation work needs to be done,” Hardisty said.

Earth Team is a program that partners volunteers with NRCS employees. It was created in 1985 and offers many opportunities to individuals 14 and older 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 community projects.

Earth Team Volunteers allow NRCS to stretch available resources and help put additional conservation practices on the ground. Volunteer efforts help improve land and wildlife habitat and contribute to cleaner water and air for everyone.

To learn more about the program visit Indiana’s Earth Team Volunteer webpage at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/people/volunteers/.   For more information about NRCS, visit:  www.in.nrcs.usda.gov.

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*Note: The Value of Volunteer Time to the Agency is $21.79/hour as established by the Independent Sector and utilized by the Federal Interagency Team for Volunteerism.

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Contacts:

Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist, 317-295-5801, jane.hardisty@in.usda.gov  
Kris Vance, State Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator, 317-295-5822, kris.vance@in.usda.gov
Rebecca Fletcher, State Public Affairs Specialist, 317-295-5825, rebecca.fletcher@in.usda.gov