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Texas NRCS Honors Earth Team Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is April 15-21, 2018

By Melissa Blair, NRCS Public Affairs Specialist

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) hails Earth Team volunteer efforts, throughout the nation, during National Volunteer Week. Our theme, “Volunteers Improve Today for Tomorrow,” uses the week of April 15-21, 2018 to show gratitude to Earth Team volunteers for their superb service to conservation.

The Earth Team is the agency’s volunteer workforce. This past fiscal year, more than 34,309 volunteers donated 325,601 hours of service to NRCS nationwide. Volunteers worked alongside NRCS to provide resources to farmers, ranchers and others to aid them with conservation and conservation education ­– a service value of more than $7.1 million*. In Texas, 1,756 volunteers donated 16,245 hours of service valued at more than $392,164.*

Texas NRCS is one of the eleven states that will be receiving the 2017 National Earth Team Special Recognition Award for an increase in volunteers, hours and office utilization rate as well as submitting applications in the FY17 National Earth Team Awards.

“Volunteers work closely with our staff, and play an important role in our state’s conservation work,” said Salvador Salinas, Texas NRCS State Conservationist. “Earth Team volunteers are invaluable as they expand NRCS’ efforts to help protect and conserve the state and nation’s natural resources.”

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 landscape. Earth Team volunteers help NRCS conservationists provide private landowners and others with a range of services, from conservation technical assistance to teaching and generating awareness about conservation through community projects.

Volunteers dedicate their time and talents to various conservation activities, from helping prevent soil erosion, protecting water resources and watersheds against flood damage, to improving the condition of grazing land, and enhancing wildlife habitat. Volunteers also help with outreach at events, help educate all ages on the importance of conservation, soil health, pollinators, and more. Many volunteers use this time to learn if NRCS is a good fit as a future career for them too.

NRCS’ mission to “Help the People Help the Land” is strengthened by the passion Earth Team volunteers bring to the important conservation work they do every day.

Learn more about the Earth Team Volunteer Program online: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/earthteam or by calling (toll-free) 1-888-526-3227. For more information on NRCS visit www.nrcs.usda.gov or visit a local USDA service center.

 

*Note: The Value of Volunteer Time to the Agency is $24.14/hour as established by the Independent Sector and utilized by the Federal Interagency Team on Volunteerism.

Texas NRCS Honors Earth Team Volunteers During National Volunteer Week, Melissa Blair, NRCS Public Affairs Specialist,(2018, April)