Girl Scout Troops to Get Their Hands Dirty to Keep America Clean

The Girl Scouts of the USA Partners with National Environmental Education Foundation and Other Federal Agencies to Restore Public Lands

National Public Lands Day


September 10, 2007

Girl Scouts of the USA
Michelle Tompkins, (212) 852-5074

Patricia Charles, (440) 506-9564

Washington, D.C. — Girl Scout troops from across the country will be pitching in to restore the beauty and vitality of public lands and earning patches for it, by joining in the 14th annual National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007. The event is being organized by the National Environmental Education Foundation in partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and nine other federal agencies, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales USA. Each year it is the largest hands-on volunteer effort on public land.

Thus far, 1,500 Girl Scouts from 50 Girl Scout troops are signed up to join the 110,000 other Americans expected to participate in National Public Lands Day, and the number of Girl Scout troops who will take part continues to grow. This is the third year that Girls Scouts of the USA has participated, and last year, about 3,700 Girl Scouts volunteered at 175 sites across the country. Girl Scout activities will include installing bird boxes, painting picnic tables, weeding plant nurseries, planting flowers, repairing stream banks, collecting rubbish, and making other outdoor contributions.

"Whether the girls volunteer for two hours or all day long, the experience provides endless leadership opportunities to learn about nature, and it allows the girls to feel a sense of accomplishment for the work that they are doing," said Jodi Stewart Schwarzer, Project Manager, GSUSA's Outdoor and Environmental Program.

"It's important to care for our public lands and environment because we need these places for future generations and for my generation too," said Hillary an 8th grader from Cadette Troop 1516, Rancho Calabasas Council, Girl Scouts of the San Fernando Valley, California. "We don't want to pollute the Earth," she adds. Hillary's troop took the Girl Scout "Care for the Earth Pledge" to restore habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains in partnership with the Mountain Restoration Trust. The girls pledged to donate 40 hours to help address various environmental concerns in their community, and participation in National Public Lands Day will help them fulfill that commitment.

Girl Scouts of the USA's participation in National Public Lands Day is part of a larger program initiative called Linking Girls to the Land, a partnership between Girl Scouts of the USA, the Elliott Wildlife Values Project and federal natural resource agencies. Linking Girls to the Land encourages joint conservation efforts between the Girl Scouts of the USA and other federal agencies to inspire 2.8 million girls across the country to learn about environmental protection. Girls who participate in National Public Lands Day and meet other eligibility requirements will earn the "Get With The Land Patch."

To find a National Public Land Day event near you or to learn how you can organize one, visit www.publiclandsday.org.

About The National Environmental Education Foundation
The National Environmental Education Foundation provides objective environmental information to help Americans live better every day. We work with professionals in health, education, public lands and media to connect the environment to everyday choices and actions so the public can live well while protecting and enjoying nature. Through our signature programs like National Public Lands Day, Environmental Education Week, Earth Gauge and the Pediatric Environmental History Initiative, The National Environmental Education Foundation offers Americans knowledge to live by. To learn more, call (202) 833-2933 or visit www.neefusa.org.

National Public Lands Day partners include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Defense, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, USDA's Forest Service, the U.S. Invasive Species Council, over 30 states, numerous local agencies, and nonprofit groups such as the National Parks Conservation Association, International Mountain Bicycling Association, The Corps Network, and Girl Scouts of the USA.

About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.6 million girl and adult members worldwide.  Girl Scouting is the leading authority on girls’ healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.  The organization strives to serve girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girls Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries.  For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org.