SCA alumna Valerie Lysenko sent me this story about an Earth Day event she hosted this weekend.
Hello Fellow SCA’ers!
This is Valerie from Middlesex County in NJ reporting on an Earth Day Tree Planting event our Conservation Corps just had.
As the head planner and organizer, I spent many weeks scouting the planting site, getting all the materials together, and recruiting and mobilizing volunteers. I decided to pick an old abandoned field off a hidden road where I believe once stood an abandoned house. Since the site is part of a huge preserve, it is often disregarded as nothing more than a dumping ground. In fact, this small parcel of land hosts a very unique ecosystem – the Pine Barrens. Characterized by pines, oaks, and dry/sandy soil, the Pine Barrens make New Jersey one of the only states in the US with this type of habitat. Needless to say, its protection is crucial.
Stand up for the future of service! You have the opportunity to help more youth step forward and serve.
The Senate currently is debating the Serve America Act (S. 277), a bipartisan bill authored by Senator Edward Kennedy and Senator Orin Hatch, that expands and reauthorizes our national service laws. This landmark piece of legislation, if passed, would triple the number of people who can serve in AmeriCorps.
Call your Senator today to let him or her know that strengthening national service is an important tool to help address conservation and environmental concerns on public lands and in our communities. Here is how you can contact your Senator:
Your calls are extremely important. Senators track and count the calls in deciding how they will vote on an issue. Please call your Senator today or tomorrow.
For more information about the Service America Act:
Thank you for voicing your support to expand service opportunities for Americans of all ages!
Andon Zebal (SCA '08) recently sent me this blog entry recounting his SCA experience. Andon grew up in Mexico and hopes to return there to work on sustainable forestry and reforestation. This summer, he will embark on a "Reforestation Backpacking Trip," attempting to see as many projects as possible as he travels through Mexico and Central America. You can follow his adventures (including his SCA experience last summer) at his blog, Restoring the Americas.
Justin, John and I visited the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in northern Oklahoma. The preserve is the largest protected prairie remnant in the world. I assumed it was a national or at least a state park, but it turns out the whole thing is run by the Nature Conservancy! We met with Bob Hamilton (in between Justin and me in the picture below), basically the ecosystem manager of the preserve. He has been working with the preserve since before it started in 1989, so the Prairie is basically his baby.
SCA alumna Emily Williams (Kenai, '08) sent us this account of her MLK Day experience. Thanks, Emily!
After listening to lectures, filling pipettes in labs, and sitting in classrooms all day, the members of the FAB Environmental Sustainability trip were ready and raring to go get their hands dirty and spend some quality time in the outdoors. On Friday, January 16th, 14 students of the University of Florida in Gainesville piled into two vans and made the two-hour drive to Orlando to volunteer their time and efforts over MLK weekend.