Mission: EarthCorps' develops leaders to strengthen community and restore the health of our environment.
Results: 1,000 program participants from 80 countries
1 million trees planted in the Pacific Northwest
150,000 volunteers engaged in caring for urban forests, parks and natural areas
Target demographics: develop a network of global environmental leaders
Direct beneficiaries per year: 10,000 people from all walks of life improve their communities by planting trees in local parks, removing invasive weeds, and learning how to sustain the ecological health of their communities
Geographic areas served: the Puget Sound region
Programs: a leadership development and hands-on training opportunity in community-based environmental restoration for young adults from the US and 80 other countries. The program combines ecological restoration theory and practice through projects including salmon habitat enhancement, invasive species eradication, native re-vegetation, stream and shoreline stabilization, and trail maintenance. Participants hone their leadership skills by working with more than 10,000 local volunteers to improve urban forests, parks, beaches and streams. In a ripple effect, graduates from the program go on to lead conservation projects in their home communities, ranging from Colorado to Madagascar to Fiji and Siberia.
I have been a volunteer, active as a Puget Sound Steward, for the past 6 years, first starting with People for Puget Sound which merged its habitat restoration program with EarthCorps during my second year of involvement. My stewardship efforts are focused on improving the native habitat within the Duwamish River watershed, community outreach/education and supporting the efforts of other organizations through the Duwamish Alive Coalition, of which EarthCorps is a core member.
Working with EarthCorps has been a joyful and rewarding experience. The urban restoration sites we work on provide critical habitat within the greater Puget Sound area. EarthCorps works in a positive, collaborative manner with other nonprofits, municipalities, and organizations in what can be a very complex, challenging environment resulting in successful restorations. Their holistic , long term approach not only benefits the projects but also volunteers who are encouraged to become stewards of our public open spaces. Volunteers experience is enhanced by educational opportunities and experiences. EarthCorps also bring young professional adults from other countries to learn about restoration both the science and management so they can take these skills back to their communities.