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News Release

National Volunteer Week - NRCS Honors Volunteers During

AUBURN, Ala., April 11, 2012

is April 15-21, 2012.  USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is celebrating National Volunteer week by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation.  The Earth Team is the agency’s official volunteer resource.  Nationally in fiscal year 2011, nearly 22,000 people donated 435,653 hours of service to NRCS worth $9.3 million*.

NRCS State Conservationist Dr. William Puckett said last year 2,372 Earth Team volunteers donated 22,668 hours of service in Alabama.  “That’s worth $484,188 of benefits to our customers and the taxpayers,” said Dr. Puckett.  “These are impressive numbers and we are grateful for the help, but we also recognize much more conservation work needs to be done.”

The Earth Team is a program which partners volunteers with NRCS employees.  It was created in 1985 and offers many opportunities to individuals over the age of 14 who are interested in volunteering and making a positive difference for the nation’s natural resources.  Earth Team volunteers help NRCS conservationists provide everything from conservation technical assistance to teaching and generating awareness about conservation through the use of community projects.  Since the founding in 1985, over 600,000 Earth Team volunteers have donated 16 million hours to NRCS valued at $363 million.

The theme for this year is “Celebrating Earth Team Volunteers in Action”.  “Earth Team volunteers are important conservation partners. Their work allows us to stretch available resources and put more conservation practices on the ground. They help us improve the landscape that results in environmental benefits everyone can enjoy,” said Puckett.

Puckett added he hopes will motivate others to volunteer to help NRCS with our conservation mission.  “Earth Team volunteers work closely with our staff and they play an important role in our state’s conservation work. As a result, volunteers tell us our assignments are personally very rewarding.”

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.

NRCS provides leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935. For more information on NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.

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

More Information:  Mobile County SWCD Wins 2012 National Earth Team Award (3-12)