An official event of Great Outdoors Month, The Corps Network’s 4th Annual Great Outdoors Day of Service to raise awareness about maintenance backlog on public lands and the role of volunteerism and national service programs in maintaining parks. Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Thomas Tidwell to speak.
WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, June 16, The Corps Network’s Great Outdoors Day of Service will engage over 100 volunteers – including young adults from conservation corps across the country – in maintenance projects at National Park Service sites throughout the nation’s capital. There is nearly $1.2 billion-worth of deferred projects on National Park sites in the District of Columbia alone.
The purpose of The Great Outdoors Day of Service is to raise awareness about the multi-billion-dollar maintenance backlog on America’s public lands, and bring attention to the role of volunteers and national service programs in maintaining parks. The event is part of Great Outdoors Month(TM), a presidentially-proclaimed month-long celebration of outdoor recreation and America’s natural spaces.
“As America celebrates our public lands and waters this June, we must also recognize the importance of service and volunteerism in maintaining parks and keeping them accessible to the public,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, CEO of The Corps Network, the national association of service and conservation corps. “The Great Outdoors Day of Service is not only a time to help our friends at the National Park Service prepare DC’s iconic parks for the busy summer season, but to also bring attention to the many thousands of service hours performed on public lands across the country every year. This service is critical to helping our land and water management agencies address the maintenance backlog.”
The day begins with a 9:15 a.m. kick-off event at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial on the National Mall. Speakers at the kick-off to include Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Thomas Tidwell, and Virginia Johnson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife, and Parks at the Department of the Interior. Volunteers will then disperse to projects on the National Mall, Teddy Roosevelt Island, Daingerfield Island, and Rock Creek Park. Activities will include invasive species removal, painting, river cleanup, debris cleanup, and light landscaping.
Most of the volunteers at the Day of Service will be young adults and post-9/11 veterans from conservation corps. Based on the model of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the Great Depression, modern Corps are non-profit or state-operated organizations that engage young adults and veterans in service to our country. During up to a year-long term of service, “Corpsmembers” participate in a range of projects to improve public lands and communities. Among other 2016 accomplishments, the more than 25,000 individuals enrolled in member organizations of The Corps Network restored over 1.5 million acres of habitat, planted more than 1.5 million trees, and built or improved over 22,000 miles of trail.
Corps represented at the Day of Service to include: American Conservation Experience (Nationwide); Citizens Conservation Corps (WV); Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa (MN); Conservation Legacy (Nationwide); Delaware State Parks Veterans Conservation Corps (DE); Maryland Conservation Corps (MD); Montana Conservation Corps (MT); Montgomery County Conservation Corps (MD); Nevada Conservation Corps (NV); New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg (NJ); PowerCorpsPHL (PA); The Student Conservation Association (Nationwide); Virginia Service and Conservation Corps (VA); and Wyoming Conservation Corps (WY).
Sponsors of the Day of Service include the U.S. Forest Service, Guest Services, Inc., Trader Joe’s, Sheraton Reston Hotel, and The Westin Reston Heights Hotel. Partners include American Recreation Coalition, Rock Creek Conservancy and the National Park Service – National Mall and Memorial Parks unit.
The public and members of the media are invited to attend the Day of Service. More information can be found at https://bit.ly/TCNserve17. Questions should be directed to Hannah Traverse, Communications Manager, [email protected], 202-737-6272.