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Press Release



Department of the Interior Answers President’s “United We Serve” Call for Volunteers on Treasured Landscapes



08/05/2009


Contact: Joan Moody (202-208-6416)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In support of President Obama’s United We Serve summer service initiative, the Department of the Interior today sponsored and participated in volunteer service activities in the nation’s parks, refuges and other public lands. The events are a part of the United We Serve Energy and Environment issue week that runs August 3 through 9.

“Today I am again urging Interior employees and the general public to answer President Obama’s call to perform volunteer service this summer by doing two things,” Secretary Salazar said. “The first request is to get outside and help protect our treasured landscapes, wildlife and cultural resources. The second is to take a young person with you into the outdoors and help them get to know these treasures.”

In the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, for example, Interior today cosponsored volunteer service activities with the National Wildlife Federation at three sites. Volunteers removed invasive plant species with the National Park Service at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve in Alexandria, Va. and with the Fish and Wildlife Service at Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Md. At the Bureau of Land Management’s Meadowood Special Recreation Area in Lorton, Va., they repaired a walking trail.

Secretary Salazar kicked off “United We Serve” in June in Shenandoah National Park, where he helped Student Conservation Association, Youth Conservation Corps and other volunteers removed invasive plants. He also has hiked and worked with other youth groups this summer at other parks, including Great Falls Park in Virginia and Anacostia Park in D.C.

“Children today spend half as much time outdoors as their parents and this has significant implications for our children's health, the economy and the future of American conservation,” Secretary Salazar said. “We must help our children get close to nature while helping the natural resources upon which their future depends.”

United We Serve is President Obama’s call to service challenging all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful community service. United We Serve runs from June 22 through a new National Day of Service on September 11 and is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

For more information on “United We Serve” and a video of Secretary Salazar at Shenandoah, see www.serve.gov.