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Conservation and youth groups begin goal to Plant One Million Trees

Nationwide Promise to Plant One Million Trees before National Public Lands Day Launches on Arbor Day, April 25th at Anacostia Park in Washington D.C.

On Arbor Day, April 25, the National Environmental Education Foundation along with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) will launch a nationwide effort to plant one million trees before the 15th annual National Public Lands Day, September 27, 2008. The national tree planting campaign will kick off by planting the first tree in Washington, D.C. at 1:00 pm Eastern at the Urban Tree House, located beside the Skating Pavilion at the Anacostia Park.

Members of the Student Conservation Association, National Public Lands Day staff, and Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni will be available for media interviews and photo opportunities between 12:45 and 1:15 pm Eastern on Friday, April 25.

The tree planting is one of the many service projects in which the Student Conservation Association is participating throughout Capitol area as part of their EarthVision conference, April 24-27. Service volunteers and participants from the Student Conservation Association's EarthVision conference will be planting trees at selected sites in the Washington, D.C. area as well throughout the rest of the day. EarthVision's objective is to harness the expertise and energy of America's youth to change the course of conservation for a more sustainable future. For more information about EarthVision, visit www.thesca.org.

"This year, we wanted to launch an effort to honor the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps Tree Army, which planted an estimated three billion trees from 1933 to 1942," said Robb Hampton, Program Director for National Public Lands Day. "Seventy-five years later, we consider National Public Lands Day and the Student Conservation Association the next generation to follow in the footsteps of the Civilian Conservation Corps."

"As we recognize the importance of planting trees today, we also keep in mind the need for a greener tomorrow," said Valerie Bailey, Executive Vice President for the Student Conservation Association. "We're also planting seeds of stewardship that will well serve our future as we honor the legacy of the CCC."

Both National Public Lands Day and The Student Conservation Association have been acknowledged in official ceremonies for continuing the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Student Conservation Association was recognized in Massachusetts last year as "the modern day all-inclusive successor to the Civilian Conservation Corps" by alumni and state officials at the Department of Conservation and Recreation. National Public Lands Day volunteers were recognized in a "passing of the torch ceremony" in 2001 in support of their nationwide efforts for the public lands.

The tree planting campaign, which kicks off on Arbor Day, will culminate with the millionth tree planted on National Public Lands Day, September 27. National Public Lands Day is currently the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to maintain America's public lands, organized by the National Environmental Education Foundation, and sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. for the tenth consecutive year.

National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers. Last year, the National Public Lands Day event inspired over 110,000 public volunteers to work in 1,300 locations in every state. This year nearly 120,000 volunteers of all ages are expected at more than 1,500 sites nationwide. Nine federal agencies, thousands of environmental and community groups, and volunteers from all over Washington, DC will be participating. For more information, visit www.publiclandsday.org.

Chartered by Congress in 1990, The National Environmental Education Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization offering objective environmental information to help Americans live better every day. By forging public-private partnerships and working with professionals in health, education, public lands and media, we connect the environment to everyday choices and actions so Americans can live well while protecting and enjoying nature. To learn more, call (202) 833-2933 or visit www.neefusa.org.

The Student Conservation Association SCA is a nationwide conservation force of college and high school volunteers who protect and restore America's parks, forests, and other public lands. For more than 50 years, SCA's active, hands-on approach to conservation has helped to develop a new generation of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save our planet. For more information, visit www.thesca.org.

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