Student Conservation Association and The NASCAR Foundation Bring Students Together to Put Green in Gear on Earth Day

SCA
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A different green flag will be flying in Kansas City.

Student Conservation Association, The NASCAR Foundation, UPS, Sprint, and Arbor Day Foundation Lead Park Renovations Following STP 400 at Kansas Speedway

(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) April 16, 2013 – A different sort of green flag will be out in Kansas City this Earth Day thanks to The NASCAR Foundation (TNF) and the Student Conservation Association (SCA). SCA, the national leader in youth service and stewardship, will lead more than 200 individuals, including scores of local students plus members of the NASCAR community, in two Missouri State Park restoration projects to commemorate the 43rd annual Earth Day on Monday, April 22nd.

Just hours after the checkered flag drops on Sunday’s STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, volunteers will report to Weston Bend State Park in nearby Weston, Mo., and Lewis and Clark State Park in Rushville, Mo., to prepare the parks for another season of recreation. Participants will plant native bur oak, hackberry, Kentucky coffeetree, pecan and walnut trees to completely offset the carbon emissions from Sunday’s race. They will also improve hiking trails by installing drainage solutions, cutting back brush, and more.

SCA Senior Vice President Jamie Patten says high school students from Kansas City, Leavenworth, Platt City and West Platt City will shift from their typical studies to learn from the nation’s most powerful classroom: the Great Outdoors.

“State parks across America need our help, and engaging students in hands-on conservation connects them to nature, teaches important environmental lessons, and fosters an ethic of stewardship,” Patten says. “SCA and The NASCAR Foundation are eager to give back to the local community and delighted by the enthusiastic support of our students and school partners.”

TNF Executive Director Lorene King says teaming with SCA is the best way to engage students in the topic of conservation, and Earth Day is the best time to take that message to youth, their families and race fans.

“NASCAR Green is one of the country’s most powerful environmental platforms, and The NASCAR Foundation continually works to improve the lives of children across the country,” King says. “We’re proud to bring the two together in partnership with an outstanding organization like SCA to promote youth involvement in sustainable projects, all while helping Missouri State Parks.”

Now in its fifth year, the NASCAR Green initiative educates fans and reduces the sport’s environmental impact through strategic partnerships with teams, tracks, and Official Partners while validating green technologies. The Missouri State Park projects will be conducted as part of The NASCAR Clean Air Tree Planting ProgramTM Delivered by UPS. In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, UPS has committed to planting 8,000 trees to neutralize emissions from all of this season’s NASCAR races and improve air quality for years to come.

SCA’s Jamie Patten says by bringing student volunteer support to Weston Bend and Lewis and Clark, SCA and The NASCAR Foundation hope to underscore the importance of state parks nationwide.

“State parks represent close-to-home nature, they are where most young people have their first meaningful outdoor experience,” Patten notes. “Across America, state parks are the key to adopting a healthy, sustainable, outdoor lifestyle. As more and more people get on board, the movement will grow stronger, as will state parks.”

The Missouri projects are among 17 signature SCA Earth Day events nationwide that will engage more than 1,500 youth and other volunteers in conservation service and related activities on public lands.

The drivers participating in Monday’s service events will be named later this week.

As part of weekend’s activities, 30 SCA student volunteers will enjoy a day at the track through The NASCAR Foundation’s NASCAR Dreams program prior to Sunday’s race. Focused on NASCAR Green initiatives, their experience will include a tour of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Garage, a meet and greet with industry professionals implementing green programs, and more.

About The NASCAR Foundation

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing Inc., (NASCAR) launched The NASCAR Foundation in January 2006. The NASCAR Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit entity that embodies the compassion of the NASCAR family and its commitment to serving communities. The NASCAR Foundation seeks to raise funds and increase volunteerism to support nonprofit charities and charitable causes throughout the nation with an emphasis placed on initiatives that affect the ability of children to live, learn and play. For more information on The NASCAR Foundation, please visit the website: NASCAR.COM/foundation. Follow The NASCAR Foundation on www.facebook.com/NASCARFoundation or on Twitter: @NASCAR_FDN.

About the Student Conservation Association

The Student Conservation Association is the only national organization that develops tomorrow’s conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. More than 4,000 SCA members annually render over two million hours of service to America’s public lands. Since 1957, SCA has helped to develop new generations of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save the planet. SCA is headquartered in Washington, DC and maintains offices in Anchorage, AK, Boise, ID, Chicago, IL, Charlestown, NH, Houston, TX, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Seattle, WA. For more information, visit http://www.thesca.org.