National Environmental Education Foundation, an EarthShare member charity, cleaned up with your help on National Public Lands Day 2010
by Dan Seligson, NEEF
They came by foot, bike, bus and even kayak. They donned work shirts, hip waders, high boots and hats. And as the temperatures hit 90, they got to work making one of Washington, D.C.’s best kept nature secrets more beautiful.
Employees from the Environmental Protection Agency, championed by Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, joined more than 200 volunteers from across the area to pull up weeds, plant trees and remove dead lotus flowers from ponds at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens during National Public Lands Day, a program of the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF). Staffers from the White House Council on Environmental Quality also worked to build an erosion wall near one of Kenilworth’s ponds, led by Chair Nancy Sutley.
Now in its 17th year, National Public Lands Day has grown from an 800-person clean up day to the country’s largest, single-day volunteer effort to clean up, repair, and upgrade parks and green spaces. At more than 2,000 sites across the United States, volunteers from eight federal agencies, youth groups, fraternities, sororities, churches, corporations and neighborhoods pitched in to make more than $16 million in improvements to America’s public lands on September 25.
“Employee groups are at the heart of many of our volunteer events,” said Robb Hampton, director of the program. “It’s a great alternative to a company picnic. It brings employees together to work toward a common goal – keeping a local, state or national park thriving – in a setting that’s a far cry from the fluorescent light hum of the office.”
National Public Lands Day is just one of the programs of the National Environmental Education Foundation, an organization that benefits from your support through the EarthShare workplace giving program. Our donors also help make many of our other initiatives possible:
Pediatricians and other health care providers are being trained in the benefits of nature for children through NEEF's Health and the Environment program. We're also working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife experts to help get kids outside to fight obesity, attention-deficit disorder and other conditions stemming from our increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
Broadcast meteorologists in more than 200 media markets nationwide give their viewers quick environmental tips tied to local forecasts with video and scripts from NEEF’s Earth Gauge program.
Business executives and front-line employees share environmental and sustainability best practices and innovations through NEEF’s Business and Sustainability Education Roundtable.
Students from kindergarten through high school engage in a focused week of environmental education in the classroom, on field trips and in natural settings during National Environmental Education Week, while teens and their teachers get lesson plans, internship and volunteer opportunities, and grants through NEEF’s Classroom Earth and Planet Connect programs.
EarthShare makes it easy for organizations like NEEF to gain the support of hundreds of thousands of federal workers through the Combined Federal Campaign, and from employees in many other public sector workplace campaigns across the country. With your support, NEEF can continue to grow opportunities for Americans to learn about, understand, and protect the natural environment that sustains us and brings us so much joy.