Student Conservation Association Hosts Let’s Move Outside! Service Event at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Garden

Seattle Post Intelligencer
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C.) June 26, 2012—With a focus on healthy kids and a healthy environment, the Student Conservation Association (SCA) today conducted a Let’s Move Outside! service project for more than 100 active youth  at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Garden in Washington, D.C.  The event also commemorated SCA’s 55th anniversary.

SCA members from Baltimore, Philadelphia, and the District of Columbia joined interns from the Department of the Interior’s Youth Office, Aramark’s sustainability interns and members of Outdoor Nation, the outdoor movement to repair a Kenilworth hiking trail and make other park improvements.

“These young people are investing their time and hard work into making the park better for every visitor,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We love their commitment to service, to the national parks, and to getting outside and being active this summer as part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move Outside! program. Young people, conservation, and parks just go together.  That’s what Liz Putnam knew 55 years ago when she started SCA so we are delighted to help celebrate this great organization’s anniversary in one of America’s 397 national parks.”

Let’s Move Outside! is the outdoor activity component  of Let’s Move!, a comprehensive initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama to put children on a healthy path and foster family environments that support healthy choices. As a part of the President’s America’s Great Outdoors program, Let’s Move Outside! seeks to expand opportunities for healthy recreation for children on America’s vast network of public lands and waters by focusing on four key principles: health, family, fun, and stewardship. SCA, the national leader in youth service and stewardship, is dedicated to “building new generations of conservation leaders.”

“The cool thing about fixing this trail,” says SCA’s Monique Dailey, “is not just that we got to enjoy being outside but now this trail enables other people come out here and explore nature, too.”

Will Shafroth, Counselor to the Secretary of the Interior on America’s Great Outdoors, and SCA Founding President Liz Putnam joined the volunteers today at Kenilworth Park, a favorite SCA service site.  On Earth Day in 2009, Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden grabbed shovels and picks as part of an SCA tree planting project.  SCA pioneered urban conservation programs in the nation’s capital more than 35 years ago, and since then thousands of diverse D.C. teens have worked to protect Kenilworth, an important wetland area, and the surrounding Anacostia Park, among many public lands in the Washington area.

Ms. Putnam, who received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Obama in 2010, lauded project participants for their selfless efforts.  “Although we are commemorating 55 years of SCA history, the youth conservation movement has always been about the future,” Ms. Putnam asserted.  “Through your stewardship and teamwork, you have given Kenilworth Park a much-needed boost and proven that our planet is in the best of hands.”

 

About the Student Conservation Association

The Student Conservation Association SCA is the only national organization that develops tomorrow’s conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. Since 1957, SCA’s hands-on practice of conservation service has helped to develop a new generation of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save the planet.  SCA is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC with offices in Boise, ID, Charlestown, NH, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Seattle, WA. For further information, visit www.thesca.org