Mobile County SWCS Wins National Earth Team Awad
(l-r seated) Mobile County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Supervisors Chairman Darrell Driskell; Robley Evans; and David Sessions (also a State Representative). (l-r standing) Mobile County NRCS DC Joyce Nicholas, NRCS Soil Conservation Technician Marshall Colburn; and SWCD District Administrative Coordinator April Griffin.
The Mobile County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) won the National USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) volunteer award. The award was given at the national NACD Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, NV. SWCD District Supervisors Darrell Driskell and Robley Evans and District Administrative Coordinator April Griffin accepted the award from NACD President Gene Schmidt and NRCS Chief Dave White.
The Mobile SWCD was recognized as the most effective Earth Team, which demonstrates shared leadership among district officials, NRCS employees, and Earth Team Volunteers.
Earth Team is a program which partners volunteers with NRCS employees to help conserve, maintain and improve natural resources and the environment.
Dr. William E. Puckett, Alabama NRCS state conservationist, praised the selection. “There is a very strong and active SWCD/NRCS partnership in Mobile County. Both groups are involved in many conservation activities made possible by Earth Team Volunteers,” he said. “Each year they restore hurricane damaged beach vegetation, conduct a water festival and Land Career Development Day, plant trees, and help with field days and tours.” Puckett added, “This is cooperative conservation at its best.”
In fiscal year 2011, 313 volunteers donated 2,476 hours in Mobile County helping NRCS staff with conservation work. Nationally, Earth Team Volunteers donated 435,653 hours of service to NRCS worth $9.3 million.
Since being formed in 1985, over a half-million Earth Team Volunteers have donated $336 million worth of time helping NRCS with its conservation mission.
NRCS provides technical assistance to landowners, farmers, ranchers and others to reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters.
Additional information on the Earth Team Volunteer Program is available online at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/people/volunteers or by calling (toll-free) 888-526-3227.