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News Release

Conservation Volunteers Honored During National Volunteer Week

Volunteer week logo

Gainesville, FL., April 21, 2013 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 21 to 27, by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation. Earth Team is a program that partners volunteers with NRCS employees. It offers many opportunities to individuals older than 14 who are interested in volunteering to improve the nation’s natural resources.

NRCS Acting State Conservationist for Florida, Roney Gutierrez, said Earth Team volunteers are making an environmental impact in Florida. Last year 347 volunteers donated 8,240 hours. “That equals $179,550 of benefit to our customers and the taxpayers,” said Gutierrez. “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 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 Gutierrez.  “Earth Team volunteers allow us to stretch available resources. Their volunteer efforts help us improve the environment for everyone.”  Gutierrez said he hopes National Volunteer Week will motivate others to volunteer to help NRCS with its conservation mission.

Learn more about the Earth Team Volunteer Program online at: www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/people/volunteers or by calling (toll-free) 888-526-3227. For more information on NRCS visit www.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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