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News Release

Conservation Volunteers Honored During National Volunteer Week


Release No. 2014.04.010

Kathy Ferge, Volunteer Coordinator
Sara Magenheimer, State Public Affairs Officer

Portland, Ore. (Apr. 9, 2014) – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is celebrating National Volunteer Week April 6th-13th by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation.

Earth Team is the agency’s volunteer workforce, and nationally, in fiscal year 2013, more than 22,000 people donated 330,084 hours of service to NRCS worth approximately $7.3 million. In Oregon, 28 volunteers provided approximately 2,000 hours of service worth approximately $43,580.

“Oregon volunteers range in age from high school to retirees,” notes Kathy Ferge, Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator for Oregon NRCS. The Soil Health initiative has benefitted from volunteers who have provided research assistance at the Plant Materials Center in Corvallis. Additionally Megan McGinns, Earth Team volunteer at the Oregon City Field Office, has developed a series of graphics and articles for the Soil Health Team.

A sample of Megan McGinnis’ work for the Oregon NRCS Soil Health Team

IMAGE: A sample of Megan McGinnis’ work for the Oregon NRCS Soil Health Team.

Long-time volunteer, Linda Town faithfully serves the Medford Service Center as a part-time receptionist. Generally working three days a week, Town has logged close to 3,000 hours since 2008.

Earth Team is a program that partners volunteers with NRCS employees. It was created in 1985 and offers many opportunities to individuals 14 and older who are interested in volunteering to improve the nation’s natural resources. 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 community projects.

Earth Team Volunteers allow NRCS to stretch available resources and help put additional conservation practices on the ground. Volunteer efforts help improve land and wildlife habitat and contribute to cleaner water and air for everyone.

Learn more about the Earth Team Volunteer Program online at: or by calling (toll-free) 888-526-3227. For more information on NRCS visit

*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.

For more information about NRCS and other programs please visit the NRCS website at



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