Serving Others by Digging Dirt

This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, some of my colleagues and I took up the call to a day of national service. 

Joined by some big names and little students, together we helped clean up Washington, D.C.’s partially frozen Anacostia River.

It was such an inspiring day! Not only did we protect a vital natural resource for Washington residents, but local kids got outside and learned that strong, healthy trees help create a strong, healthy river.

We began by picking up trash, which was such a big task that the Earth Conservation Corps—the sponsoring organization and NWF’s local affiliate—had to dispatch pickup trucks to gather all the garbage found.

In the afternoon, more than one hundred school children gathered to plant 44 tree saplings in honor of the new president Barack Obama who was soon to be inaugurated just a Metro ride away.

Throughout the day, I talked to students painting dead fish with neon paint and helped print them onto big white display banners, while a few of the little ones passed out goodie bags with baby tree saplings inside.

It was clear to me on this day that kids have the potential to grow up and become good stewards when they’re given the proper guidance now. That’s why I wanted to let you know that in the weeks ahead, we’ll have a great opportunity to help make more days like this possible for kids across the country.

If you haven’t already, take a quick moment to learn about the No Child Left Inside Act – one of the most important pieces of legislation to get environmental education back in America’s classrooms – and then let your Members of Congress know you support this bill.