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News Release

NRCS Honors Virginia Volunteers During National Week

Georgia Solseth

Richmond, April 16, 2013 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is celebrating National Volunteer Week (April 21-27) by thanking current Earth Team volunteers for their service and inviting all Virginians to reap the rewards of this great opportunity to make lasting impacts in their communities.

Whether you’re 14 or 74, you can help protect Virginia’s natural resources and provide valuable services to private landowners throughout the state. Working with NRCS conservationists, Earth Team members help with conservation technical assistance, teach and generate awareness about conservation, and perform many other vital support activities throughout the state.

“The NRCS theme for this year, Celebrate Volunteers, puts it best,” said NRCS State Conservationist Jack Bricker. “This week, we truly are celebrating the important role Earth Team plays in our state’s conservation work to improve our land and wildlife habitat, contribute to cleaner water and air, and protect the environment for everyone.”

In today’s tight economy, volunteer workers can help agencies continue to provide services with fewer employees. Earth Team allows NRCS to stretch available resources and put additional conservation practices on the ground. More than 19,000 Earth Team members across the nation donated 305,564 hours of service to NRCS worth approximately $6.7 million in fiscal year 2012. That total includes 9,612 hours from 653 Virginia volunteers.

“That’s worth $209,445 of benefit to our customers and the taxpayers,” said Bricker. “These are impressive numbers, and we are grateful for the help, but we also recognize there is much more conservation work to be done.”

Earth Team was created in 1985 and offers many options for individuals aged 14 and older who are interested in volunteering to improve the nation’s natural resources. Volunteer activities can also provide students with valuable work experience to enhance their resumes for college and the job market. Bricker 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: or by calling State Earth Team Coordinator Georgia Solseth at (804) 287-1676. 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 used by the Federal Interagency Team for Volunteerism.