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Earth Team Volunteers Answer the Call to Serve

Earth Team Volunteers Answer the Call to Serve

Salina, Kansas—April 21, 2009—Would you like to answer the call to serve by working on natural resources projects that beautify your community, helping farmers and ranchers protect their natural resources, or writing articles on natural resource topics for your local media?

If you do, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Earth Team (ET) Volunteer Program in Kansas has these and many other opportunities to help you accomplish that goal, according to State Conservationist Eric B. Banks. Volunteer Week is April 19-25, and this year's ET Volunteer theme is "Answer the Call to Serve." NRCS's ET Volunteers will be recognized locally where they serve.

"If you choose to become involved in your community by volunteering, the Earth Team in Kansas offers so much for you, whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, office worker, environmentalist, or student," said Banks. "If you have skills and experience and want to contribute in new ways, you can explore opportunities offered with the Earth Team."

"About 3,610 Earth Team volunteers contributed 40,948 hours in Kansas valued at nearly $800,000 for various conservation activities," Banks said. Nationally, more than 30,000 volunteers contributed more than 800,000 hours valued at about $15 million to further NRCS’s mission of Helping People Help the Land. (Note: NRCS uses $19.51 per hour for our estimate.)

"NRCS in Kansas is proud of the dedicated volunteers who have committed their time and talents to conserving and protecting soil, water, and wildlife in their communities across the state," Banks said. "Volunteers play a vital role in achieving our conservation goals. We have seen a significant increase in our conservation achievements because of their contributions."

The NRCS ET Volunteer Program, created in 1985, offers numerous opportunities for individuals 14 years of age or older. With ever-increasing workloads and a declining workforce, volunteers are essential to helping NRCS carry out its mission. They assist NRCS conservationists with diverse activities, from providing conservation technical assistance, to teaching and generating awareness about conservation through community projects. Volunteers serve on the land, in schools, with organizations, and in offices. They help with natural resource projects that improve water quality, beautify communities, and reduce erosion. They also contribute their clerical, computer, and writing skills in NRCS and conservation district offices across the nation.

For additional information about the ET Volunteer Program in Kansas, please visit http://www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov/about/earth_team/index.html. Jan Klaus, State ET Volunteer Coordinator, may be e-mailed for more information at jan.klaus@ks.usda.gov. NRCS is an equal opportunity provider and employer.