Skip Navigation

News Release

NRCS Honors Volunteers During National Volunteer Week April 10-16, 2011


PHOENIX, March 26, 2011 - National Volunteer Week is April 10-16, 2011. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is celebrating NationalPbblo Zapada and Ian Yares, seniors at Gateway Community High School in Phoenix, Arizona volunteering.Volunteer week by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation. Earth Team is the agency’s official volunteer resource. Nationally in fiscal year 2010, nearly 30,000 people donated 641,549 hours of service to NRCS worth $13.4 million.

NRCS State Conservationist David McKay said last year 139 Earth Team volunteers donated 5,388 hours in Arizona. “That’s worth $112,340 of benefit to our customers and the taxpayers,” said McKay. “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 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. Since it’s founding, over a half-million Earth Team volunteers have donated 15.5 million hours to NRCS valued at $314 million.  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.

Ian Yares,writing down data while volunteering.“The NRCS theme for this year puts it best,” said David McKay: “Earth Team Volunteers are the Key Foundation of Conservation.” They allow us to stretch available resources and help us put conservation practices on the ground. As Chief Dave White said a year ago, “Earth Team makes it possible for us to achieve our mission of Helping People Help the Land.”

McKay said he hopes National Volunteer Week 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 or by calling Sherry Ellicott, Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator for Arizona, at 602-280-8799.

NRCS has provided 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