U.S. Department of the InteriorOffice of the Secretary - U.S. Department of the Interior - www.doi.gov - Media Advisory
For Immediate Release:
Date: September 24, 2008
Contact: Ron Tull (202) 208-5089

Take Pride in America Heartland Voluntour Across America Arrives in Columbus, Ohio

Supports Keep Columbus Beautiful and Ohio State University Day of Service

Columbus, Ohio – Take Pride in America® “Voluntour Across America,” joined Keep Columbus Beautiful and Ohio State University for a Day of Service to spruce up areas near the campus that are shared by both students and the surrounding community. 

The event, put on by the SERV Team (Students Engaged in Responsible Volunteering) and The Ohio Union at Ohio State University, gathered more than 1,200 students and sent them by bus and on foot into neighborhoods shared by students and local citizens to pick up trash, recyclable materials and in some cases, limbs from recent high winds.

Keep Columbus Beautiful was on hand to equip 47 teams of more than 350 students with bags, gloves, vests, litter grabbers, recycling bags, rakes, shovels and brooms. 

“The environmental future of this city is in the hands of our youth and these OSU students proved today that our future is in good hands,” said Sherri Palmer, manager for Keep Columbus Beautiful.   

The KCB teams loaded 560 bags with everything from trash to yard waste and recycling.  Both the Ohio Union and KCB were awarded appreciation certificates from Take Pride in America by Assistant Director Lisa Young.

So far, Take Pride in America staff traveling in a Toyota Highlander, have visited  wildlife refuges, schools, a state park and a lake visitor center run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, all to recognize the efforts and impact of volunteers in different settings.

Voluntour Across America has already logged more than 5,200 miles traveling through the Southeast and West Coast in a Toyota hybrid participating in a wide range of events.

Heartland Voluntour Schedule:

Saturday, September 13, 2008 - Mound City, Missouri
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Work Day

Monday, September 15, 2008 - Johnston, Iowa
Saylorville Lake Visit

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - West Des Moines, Iowa
Take Pride in America School Visit with Dowling Catholic High School

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - Prairie City, Iowa
Environmental Education Program at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

Thursday, September 18, 2008 - Winona, Minnesota
Site visit with Cochran-Fountain City Future Farmers of America at the Upper Mississippi Refuge

Saturday, September 20, 2008 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Kids in Nature Family Hike of the Ice Age Trail

Saturday, September 20, 2008 - Madison, Wisconsin
Brooklyn State Wildlife Area Volunteer Event

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - Columbus, Ohio
Keep Columbus Beautiful Ohio State University Event

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - Oak Harbor, Ohio
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Visit

Saturday, September 27, 2008 - Georgetown, Kentucky
Salato Wildlife Education Center Toyota National Public Lands Day Event

About Take Pride:

Take Pride in America® is a national partnership program administered by the Department of the Interior and authorized by Congress to promote the appreciation and stewardship of public lands. Take Pride in America is active in all 50 states, has partnerships with public, private, and nonprofit organizations, and features Clint Eastwood as national spokesman. Citizen stewards know and count on Take Pride in America for the most comprehensive online portal of public lands volunteer opportunities and for showcasing the most outstanding public lands stewardship activities through the annual national award ceremony. For more information, visit www.TakePride.gov.

About Toyota:
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion in the United States, marketing products and services through a network of 1,427 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers in 49 states. Established in 1957, TMS and its subsidiaries also are involved in distribution logistics, motorsports, and research and development. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com.

— DOI —