Earth Conservation Corps founding Board Member honored

On Wednesday, May 21, Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO, and other TCN staff joined Earth Conservation Corps staff, current and alumni Corpsmembers, city and national officials at a dedication ceremony for a bridge named in honor of Ethel Kennedy, founding Board Member of Earth Conservation Corps (ECC).

Speakers included DC Mayor Gray, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Senator Steny Hoyer.  For over 22 years, Mrs. Kennedy’s engagement with ECC has helped others appreciate the can-do spirit of Anacostia youth and focused an entire city on the restoration of the River. Corpsmembers presented Mrs. Kennedy with white roses along with their stories of transformation and growth through their experience with the Corps. Attorney General Eric Holder's speech can be read online here.

Before the presentation, ECC members demonstrated for the media how they are cleaning up the Anacostia River.

Earth Conservation Corps featured in NPR piece about Sally Jewell's 21CSC efforts

On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that American Eagle Outfitters has committed $1 million towards the goal of raising 20 million private sector dollars for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. Corpsmembers from programs  such as Earth Conservation Corps and Montgomery County Conservation Corps attended the announcement at the FDR memorial in Washington, DC.


The Corps Network Praises American Eagle Outfitters for Million Dollar Commitment to Support 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

Secretary Sally Jewell and American Eagle Outfitters Vice President Helga Ying (left of Jewell),  joined with Corpsmembers for a photo underneath one of FDR's famous quotes at his Memorial.

TCN and Earth Conservation Corps Participate in Great Outdoors America Week event on the National Mall


On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, The Corps Network and Earth Conservation Corps participated in the Kids, Youth and the Great Outdoors Festival and Walk on the National Mall in recognition of GO Week (Great Outdoors America Week, June 24 – June 27, 2013). Earth Conservation Corps demonstrated two birds from their Raptor Education Program, while other organizations offered activities ranging from knot tying to mountain biking and kayaking lessons.

The purpose of the event, sponsored by OAK (Outdoors Alliance for Kids), was to celebrate youth in nature and raise awareness about the importance of outdoor recreation and various efforts to ensure that all kids and families have opportunities to get outside.

A press conference on the NE lawn of the Washington Monument included speeches by Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior; Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army; Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club; Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society; Jackie Ostfeld, Chair of OAK; and Arturo Cervantes, Outdoor Nation Youth Ambassador. Following the press conference, guides from GirlTrek led Festival participants on a walk to the Capitol. See below for photos from the event. 


Mountain biking lessons


Mountain biking lessons


Secretary Jewell


Daryl Wallace of Earth Conservation Corps with Skye the hawk


Secretary Jewell


Chair Nancy Sutley


Knot tying exhibit

Secretary Jewell Kicks Off National Fishing and Boating Week with Earth Conservation Corps

On Monday, June 3, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould at Earth Conservation Corps’s Pump House location on the Anacostia River to kick off a day of recreational and educational activities in recognition of National Fishing and Boating Week. Over 200 students from D.C. metro area elementary and middle schools had the chance to enjoy fishing and boating activities with Secretary Jewell, and learn about fish and wildlife conservation through hands-on activities.

Also participating in the event were Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, and Bob Nixon, founder of Earth Conservation Corps. The staff of Earth Conservation Corps was on hand to demonstrate the organization’s live “osprey-cam,” and introduce visitors to birds of prey from their Raptor Education Program.

The event was sponsored by 13 local and federal government agencies, businesses, and nonprofits. 

Secretary Jewell, holding a bird from Earth Conservation Corps's Raptor Education Program, pictured with Daryl Wallace, ECC Media Arts Director 

A boat that took students and guests for a ride down the Anacostia

Earth Conservation Corps Staff Daryl Wallace and Kellie Bolinder giving a demonstration

A fire boat on the Anacostia River puts on a demonstration for the event

SeaWorld Visits Earth Conservation Corps in Washington, DC


Children from the PAL Club visit the Earth Conservation Corps's Pump House location to see Stomp the alligator and other animals brought by SeaWorld. Picture from the ECC Facebook page.

Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) – headquartered on the Anacostia River in Washington, DC – is certainly accustomed to welcoming feathered visitors; the Corps’s Raptor Education Program has hosted many demonstrations with the help of owls, hawks, and other birds of prey. Yesterday, however, the Corps’s Pump House location in Diamond Teague Park welcomed a visit from some new friends…some furry and scaly friends, that is.

A red ruffed lemur explores the Earth Conservation Corps office. Picture from the ECC Facebook page

An American alligator, a red ruffed lemur, and a great horned owl came to the Corps on Tuesday, March 26 with staff members from the Education program at SeaWorld-Busch Gardens in Orlando, FL. Children from PAL Club (People. Animals. Love.) attended the event. Usually the PAL students come to ECC on Friday afternoons to watch Corpsmembers in the Raptor Education program give bird presentations, but the visit from SeaWorld gave the children a chance to come face to face with animals they had never seen before. Among other things, the students learned about how owls digest their food, about how lemurs are losing their natural habitats, and about how to be safe around alligators. They also had the opportunity to see a sock and prosthetic leg made for an elephant.

The PAL Club, a partner with ECC, is an after school program based out of Stanton Elementary School in Southeast, DC. The program builds on children’s natural curiosity about animals to stimulate scientific inquiry and inspire an interest in reading and math. The children care for pets, read about animals, and make trips to organizations such as Earth Conservation Corps to learn about less familiar animals. Usually, when the students come for their Friday visits, they are taught by ECC Corpsmembers; young men and women from under-resourced DC neighborhoods who are out of work and not in school. ECC gives these Corpsmembers a chance to learn valuable job skills by working in teams to complete local conservation projects. The Raptor Education Program teaches Corpsmembers how to handle birds of prey and helps them develop their public speaking and social skills by giving them the opportunity to present the birds to groups like PAL Club.  


The Corps Network and Planters Unveil New Park in Historic Washington, DC Neighborhood


The Corps Network and Planters Unveil New Park in Historic Washington, D.C. Neighborhood

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today The Corps Network, the voice of the nation’s Service and Conservation Corps, and Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, unveil the second of three planned urban parks known as Planters Groves in Lincoln Heights, a historic Northeast Washington D.C. neighborhood. The Corps Network’s local members, Washington Parks & People, Earth Conservation Corps, and the Student Conservation Association worked withPlanters and many other community partners to transform land into the peanut-shaped park. ECoRe, a provider of engineering services that emphasize sustainability and renewable energy, managed the build and helped coordinate the Volunteer Corps work on site.

The Washington, D.C. Planters Grove is located at 50th Street and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE. U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (Washington, D.C.) and Mayor Vincent Gray will join other local dignitaries, community members, and Mr. Peanut to celebrate the new park with a day of volunteer planting. Planters envisioned its Groves as a means to transform underdeveloped and underutilized urban land into vibrant, green spaces. They are an important part of Planters 2011 “Naturally Remarkable” Tour, an effort to advance the brand’s values of healthy lifestyles and sustainability.

Sally Prouty, President and CEO of The Corps Network remarked, “The Planters Grove now takes its place as a nexus of neighborhood revitalization, community service and outdoor activity. Our work with Planters is proof that public-private partnerships can seed community transformation and growth.”

Designed by renowned landscape architect Ken Smith, Planters Groves are part urban revitalization, part urban art. Each Planters Grove features unique elements that promote sustainability and reflect the neighborhood’s unique culture and heritage. The Washington, D.C. Planters Grove includes:

• 39 newly-planted fruit and nut trees, in addition to 67 serviceberry trees,which expand Washington, D.C.’s tree canopy, as well as provide health and environmental benefits to local residents such as improved air quality and lower summer air temperature   

• A border of reclaimed porch columns frames the park’s unique peanut-shape and highlights the neighborhood’s “front porch” culture

• A rainwater garden collects storm water excess and helps decrease the amount of pollution reaching the adjacent stream

• Azaleas incorporated into the park’s design note the beginning of America’s urban environmental movement, which began when Lady Bird Johnson responded to the plea of local eight-year-old John Hatcher for azalea bushes for his housing development

The Washington, D.C. Planters Grove builds upon recent efforts by the D.C. Department of Parks & Recreation to redevelop the broader Marvin Gaye Park corridor into a hub of outdoor recreation, civic participation, and public-private partnership. Additionally, the Planters Grove complements the D.C. Department of Transportation’s sustainable streetscape improvement project currently underway. 

“The Planters Grove is a welcome addition to a location that has deep historical and cultural significance and fits in perfectly with the District’s goals of providing healthy lifestyle choices for residents of all ages for generations to come,” said Jesùs Aguirre, Director of the D.C. Department of Parks & Recreation.

Scott Marcus, a Senior Brand Manager for Planters said “Peanuts are truly a ‘naturally remarkable’ food. They have a rich American heritage and, in many ways, are both good for you and good for the earth. Planters is excited to work with the local D.C. community to create a natural space in our nation’s capital that celebrates the peanut and promotes healthy living and sustainability.” 

In 2011, the first Planters Grove opened in New Orleans. An additional Planters Grove will be created later this year in New York City.

To follow The Corps Network’s partnership with Planters and get updates on our work, you can “Like” The Corps Network on Facebook at and“Like” Mr. Peanut on Facebook at

To learn more about Corps in your state and ways to volunteer, visit     

About The Corps Network: Established in 1985, The Corps Network is the voice of the nation's 158 Service and Conservation Corps. Currently operating in 48 states and the District of Columbia, The Corps Network enrolls more than 33,000 young men and women annually in service in addition to mobilizing approximately 227,000 community volunteers each year. For more information contact Rob Spath at or visit

About Planters: Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, has a long history of pioneering industry firsts. This inventiveness is delivered through a diverse portfolio of nutritious and delicious plant-based snacks such as peanuts, cashews, almonds and other nuts. Planters NUT•rition offers a distinctive line of nut mixes that focus on specific nutritional needs. Planters almonds and pistachios are roasted with real herbs and spices, delivering extraordinary flavor. Planters Trail Mix blends roasted nuts, delicious fruit and other wholesome ingredients to help fuel an active lifestyle.

About Planters Sustainability: Planters has made considerable investments in greening their facilities through energy and water conservation, as well as waste reduction. As part of its brand citizenship, Planters has committed, in collaboration with The Corps Network, to developing green, natural spaces called Planters Groves across the U.S. The brand's commitment to nut farmers is extended through the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), an initiative to improve cashew production, sustainability practices and increase the cashew-related income of 150,000 cashew farmers by 2012.

About ECoRe: ECoRe is a provider of engineering consulting services, specializing in clean technology development, engineering and integration of renewable energy solutions, and developing sustainable communities. ECoRe focuses on addressing diverse energy-related needs by forming integrated management teams to develop energy solutions that foster sustainable communities and provide affordable, tailored solutions.  Their team of engineers and sustainability professionals bring sustainable solutions – both financially and environmentally – to the people and companies that have traditionally been underserved by the sustainability community. Learn more at

About Parks & People: Washington Parks & People began 20 years ago with Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, receiving the National Park Service's highest organizational award for leading the transformation of the single most violent park in the capital region into one of its safest. We lead greening initiatives across the city -- massive land reclamation, native reforestation,  watershed restoration, public health and fitness programming, urban agriculture, and green job training -- to help revitalize once forgotten communities. Learn more at

About Earth Conservation Corps: Earth Conservation Corps is a nonprofit youth development and environmental service organization located where the heavily polluted Anacostia River flows through our nation’s capitols most disadvantaged communities. Since 1989 we have been successfully reclaiming two of America’s most endangered resources — our youth and our environment. We use the challenge and promise of restoring the Anacostia River to engage unemployed community youth for a transformative volunteer year of environmental action and community service. Learn more at

About The Student Conservation Association: The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is a national organization that develops tomorrow's conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with conservation 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 new generations of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save the planet. SCA is a non-profit headquartered in Charlestown, NH and maintains regional offices in Boise, ID, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, Seattle, WA, and Washington, D.C. For more, logon at