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News Release

Make A Difference--Volunteer!

Contact:
Paige Buck, Public Affairs IL NRCS
217-353-6606


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 24,2017

Champaign, IL—What have you done lately to make a difference in your town? Your county? Here’s your chance. Consider setting aside a block of time to join the work of others and have a positive, local impact you can feel good about. How? Become a volunteer! Join USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and celebrate National Volunteer Week, April 23-29, 2017. This week NRCS is saying “Thank you!” by honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation. “I’d also challenge everyone to make a difference right where you are. Look for opportunities—places and organizations near you—where you can direct your time and skills, and truly have an impact,” says State Conservationist Ivan Dozier.

The Earth Team is the agency’s volunteer workforce. These volunteers work across the country and have a huge impact. Nationally, during fiscal year 2017 (that means October 2016 through March 2017), more than 9,300 people donated 81,600 hours of service to NRCS in 926 different offices.

“Here in Illinois NRCS, we recognized eleven of our offices. They organized a total of 37 volunteers who donated 362 hours of their time to help put conservation on the ground. That’s a big help,” Dozier adds.

Volunteers who spend time working with NRCS play an important role in the state’s conservation work. They support local county efforts and federal conservation programs that reduce soil erosion and improve water quality. According to Dozier, “Every volunteer has an impact and for that, we are grateful.”

The Earth Team program was created back in 1985 and is still going strong. It offers a way for individuals age 14 and older to volunteer time and talents that improve our nation’s natural resources. They help NRCS conservationists provide private landowners and farmers services like conservation technical assistance or teaching and generating awareness about conservation through community projects. Volunteer efforts help improve land and wildlife habitat and contribute to cleaner water and air for everyone.

Are YOU ready to accept the challenge? If you want to volunteer in your local area to make a difference, the Earth Team can make it happen. Learn more at: www.nrcs.usda.gov/earthteam or email the Illinois State Earth Team Volunteer at jean.mcconkey@il.usda.gov.

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