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News Release

Virginia NRCS Volunteers Honored During National Volunteer Week

Barbara Bowen

Celebrate National Volunteer WeekRichmond, VA, April 16, 2018 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, by thanking and honoring its statewide network of Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation.

Earth Team is a program that allows NRCS to stretch available resources by partnering volunteers with employees to provide a wide range of services to private landowners and the public. These services can include conservation technical assistance, office support, and teaching and generating awareness about conservation through community projects.

“This great partnership has enabled us to get more conservation on the ground and build awareness about the importance of protecting our natural resources,” said State Conservationist Jack Bricker. “This past fiscal year, nearly 1,500 Virginians donated 12,585 hours working alongside NRCS staff to provide resources to farmers and landowners – a service valued at more than $339,000 in our state and $7.1 million nationwide.”*

Here are just a few examples of the outstanding work being done throughout the state to help improve land and wildlife habitat and contribute to cleaner water and air for everyone:

  • In Charlottesville, the Rivanna Conservation Alliance’s cadre of volunteers donated more than 2,600 hours to stream monitoring and community outreach programs to raise awareness of water quality issues in the Rivanna basin due to pollution from bacteria, storm water runoff, and excess sediment. (2017 Southeast Region’s Group Volunteer Award).
  • Zoe Maxfield stepped in to perform technician level work in the Lebanon Service Center, which ranks in the top third of Virginia offices for complexity of workload. From laying out practices to surveys and field inspections, she contributed to every aspect of office operations. With her help, Lebanon increased the number of contracts awarded to landowners by 25 percent in FY17.
    (2017 State Individual Volunteer Award)

Created in 1985, Earth Team offers many opportunities to individuals 14 and older who are interested in volunteering to improve the nation’s natural resources. Learn more about Virginia’s Earth Team Program by visiting our website or calling Barbara Bowen at (804) 287-1679. Contact your local NRCS office to learn more about needs in your area.

*Note: The Value of Volunteer Time to the Agency in Virginia is $26.96/hour as established by the Independent Sector and utilized by the Federal Interagency Team for Volunteerism