WASHINGTON, D.C.—What began as Great Outdoors Week has grown throughout the years into a month-long celebration of the outdoors and the physical, social and economic benefits it contributes. On June 15, Forest Service Resource Assistants, Civic Works, Delaware State Parks Veterans Conservation Corps, Harpers Ferry Job Corps, Virginia Conservation Corps and other organizations participated in “The Corps Network Annual Great Outdoors Day of Service.” The day-long service project was held at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove and Lady Bird Johnson Park, where Corps members and volunteers worked hand-in-hand to clear the grounds of invasive plant species and clean litter from the water side and surrounding areas. Leslie Weldon, Deputy Director of the National Forest System, was one of the speakers who inspired participants in the day’s kickoff. The Forest Service’s very own Woodsy Owl was also present to provide attendees information on the importance of citizen science and volunteerism in their communities.
Resource Assistants from Conservation Education, Forest Management, Recreation and Agricultural Marketing Service had the privilege of serving their communities as Forest Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture representatives. Engaging our Resource Assistants in community improvement projects such as these allows us to engender the Forest Service motto. And opportunities such as the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, Resource Assistant Program and Youth Conservation Corps help create a new generation of stewards of the land as well as potential future Forest Service employees.