2012 Project of the Year: Recycling Black Locusts for a Win-Win

 

Winner: SEEDS Youth Conservation Corps

SEEDS staffers hold a harder line than most when it comes to purchasing policies because of their organization’s mission to bring a holistic perspective to design challenges and help communities make durable decisions about their own future. For the boardwalks, platforms, and other construction projects the Corps was getting, no one wanted to use toxic, chemically treated lumber.

In Michigan lumber for projects often comes from the West Coast, draining valuable financial resources from the state economy and requiring heavy product to be shipped across vast distances, which is a complete loser in terms of emissions and embodied energy. SEEDS generally desires to build things out of resources that are readily available.

A perfect storm of opportunity was created when SEEDS learned of the possibility of using black locust lumber. Simultaneously they learned that the National Park Service was girdling large stands of it, as it is considered by them an invasive species in Michigan. Black Locust posts have been known to last as long as 100 years in the ground. This wood is very heavy, providing strength and durability. This combined with its rot resistance makes it the ideal choice for fencing, boardwalks, hops yards, and landscaping.

SEEDS Youth Corps creates custom lengths, milled posts, fencing, and decking materials as well as fire wood all for its own use and for sale. The use of black locust has improved the Corps in a number of ways including 1) benefits associated with using higher quality lumber, 2) benefits with sourcing materials locally and using nontoxic material, 3) having direct control over the materials they use, 4) students learning how to both create and fill an order for lumber and learning about the full life cycle of these materials from tree to boardwalk and back into tree, and 5) significantly increasing the number of hours SEEDS can afford to hire its Corpsmembers.

With its new programmatic investment in black locust products, the Corps has already added the equivalent of 2.5 full time green collar jobs for youth in a community that faces far higher rates of unemployment than even their parents do in these economically depressed times and regions of long standing rural poverty. These hours are split among many employees and this work, in and of itself, helps these students stay on track at school, improve self esteem, and generate income for their families. SEEDS expects this number to only grow for the foreseeable future.

By using black locust rough cut lumber in place of treated decking, SEEDS reduced the greenhouse gas impacts of traditional decking lumber production by between 93% and 97%. During the first three quarters of 2011, by displacing traditional treated lumber with locust we reduced 18 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e). This is equivalent to the annual emissions of 3.5 cars or 1.6 homes. Quantifying the impact that the toxic chemicals in treated lumber have on ecosystems – especially wetlands where it is most often used – is not currently accessible to SEEDS, but they are seeking scientists who can effectively illustrate this impact.

Another positive aspect to the program was that Youth Corps staff were trained to take trees down in the park, mill them on-site, organize and transport the lumber, and create beautiful, long lasting, locally sourced, nontoxic carpentry projects for the entire community to use. Corpsmembers have learned to recognize black locust not only as an invasive species but also as resource. They have procured products with their own hands rather than through purchasing and have learned that these projects will last a lifetime. As a result of this project they have also received the following trainings: invasive species identification, herbicide application certification, botanical Illustration and identification, plant identification in the Anishinaabemowin language, first aid and CPR certification, and basic construction. Older Corpsmembers have also received MIOSHA chainsaw certification, wildfire chainsaw certification, and four-season proper tree harvesting techniques.

Creating jobs to create the raw materials needed for other jobs added over $50,000 of community support in the first three quarters of 2011. Additionally, SEEDS has generated another $35,000 by selling locust products to organic farmers – a significant market that they had not previously been involved in. In total the project has provided an additional 5200 hours of paid employment to Corpsmembers.

This is a classic example of looking with an innovative eye toward someone else’s waste product as a resource for someone else. The National Park saw these trees as invasive and a waste – at best firewood. SEEDs saw these trees as economic generators for their community.

2012 Project of the Year: Military Posts to Park Program

 

Winner: Mile High Youth Corps

The “Post to Parks Program” was a unique collaboration between a local youth conservation corps (Mile High Youth Corps – Colorado Springs), a local military installation (Fort Lewis Army Base) and a National Park (Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument). Conducted during the Summer of Service Program 2011, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, it served a relatively small number of young people (26) with the potential to serve hundreds more. “Post to Parks” engages Corpsmembers and potential future Corpsmembers for their own benefit and that of our National Parks.

One crew of Mile High Youth Corps’ Corpsmembers was paired with and became mentors for seventeen youth from Fort Carson on a four day educational adventure. For several days preceding their time together the Corpsmembers planned educational sessions, games and experiential activities for their mentees. When the Fort Carson teenagers arrived the ice was quickly broken through a series of games and sharing activities. Corpsmembers then involved the younger youth in interpretive programs, fossil labs, and interpretive hikes.

The youth from Ft. Carson worked each day with MHYC corps members on trail maintenance, learned tool safety, erosion control, and noxious weed identification. The Corpsmembers had the opportunity to teach and tell these youth about Leave No Trace Camping, hiking safety, what Corps do and why. They also formed a panel with staff of the Monument to talk about their careers in the outdoors. Both Corps and military youth were also able to interact with park staff and learned about volunteer and career opportunities in the National Park System.

This program was developed by staff at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and planned collaboratively with the Mile High Youth Corps. It was funded by two grants from the National Parks Foundation. The goal of the project is to get military youth connected to our parks, to provide leadership opportunities for Corpsmembers and to recruit new members for the Corps.

The youth from military families received transportation, lunches, and a small stipend for participating in the program. The Corpsmembers camped at the park, prepared their own meals, and received their weekly stipends as usual. Prior to the project Corpsmembers were not surprised to learn they would be swinging shovels and tamping trail but they never imagined that they would also be called upon to develop a curriculum and teach their trail and camping skills while also showing compassion and understanding to children of military families whose parents could be deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Both Corpsmembers and the youth from the military base benefited tremendously from this project.

2005 Corpsmember of the Year: Lasharee Jones

 

Two years ago, Lasharee Jones didn't have much hope.  A high school dropout and a single mother, she was struggling to make ends meet.  Then she came to the West Seneca Service Action Corps (now The Service Collaborative of WNY, Inc.).  While serving as an AmeriCorps member for two consecutive terms, Lasharee is achieving her dream.  Making deliveries for the Buffalo Food Bank, building homes through YouthBuild and beautifying local parks, Lasharee is making a difference to those around her.  Now she is about to receive her GED, a feat she had not imagined possible two years ago. Lasharee cannot wait to go to college and build her future. 

--“I don’t just want to feed people and clean a lot, I want to inspire.  I want to teach people through my actions.  I want people to get this message of service and do it too.  There is no point sitting around blaming others for not succeeding.  I’ve been given a gift, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King I want to walk in his footsteps inspiring others.”

(written in 2005)

2005 Corpsmember of the Year: Kim Alston

 

Kim Alston is one of the brightest lights of Civic Works.  She labors daily in some of Baltimore’s most desolate neighborhoods, converting abandoned, trash-strewn lots into vibrant, thriving green spaces and places of community pride.  While a Civic Works corpsmember, Kim has worked on various community-sponsored efforts and environmental restoration; represented Civic Works in Annapolis, MD at meetings of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism; and represented her peers on the Inter-Corps Council.  Kim is a young woman who aspires to work in the areas of engineering and wetlands restoration.  She is well on the way to integrating hands-on practical applications and theory. 

-- “Having witnessed the profound effect that our corps group offers to the city by planting flowers and trees, which improve the aesthetic value of an area as well as the quality of life for the people, has heightened my understanding of the benefit and necessity of community service work.”

2012 Corpsmember of the Year: Mike Bremer

***Update! Click here to find out what Mike has been up to since receiving his award.***

"When I returned from Iraq with the Army Infantry, I felt like I lost all meaning and purpose in life and I had trouble finding meaningful work. My Corps experience gave me new purpose and a valuable new skillset. I received incredible training and experience alongside other veterans who had similar experiences – we were all looking for a new life after war.”

In April of 2010, Mike Bremer joined Southwest Conservation Corps’ Veterans Fire Corps after serving in the U.S. Army Infantry. While in the Corps, Mike worked in 3 different districts of the San Juan National Forest and also for the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management completing fuels mitigation projects, pile burning, and area burns. He received high ratings in chainsaw safety training and wildland fire fighting and behavior classes. His exceptional ability with a chainsaw also ensured that he could become the sawyer for his crew, an integral and coveted position, especially for a first year firefighter. Based on his performance and the strong bonds he made with his fellow Corpsmembers, the staff of Southwest Conservation Corps promoted Mike to crew leader the following spring.

Mike later secured a job with the U.S. Forest Service as a wildland firefighter and sawyer for the San Juan National Forest. Mike describes it as “the best job I have ever had.”

Beyond his work as a firefighter, Mike is also an advocate for veteran’s issues and an ambassador for Southwest Conservation Corps’ Veterans Fire Corps program. He says that “Service has always been a significant part of my life. My fellow veterans face significant barriers to employment, just as I did. I hope to be able to inspire my comrades to consider the opportunities available through The Corps Network.”

The Corps Network and Planters Unveil New Park in New York City


 

NEW YORK – October 3, 2011 – Today, Mr. Peanut arrives in the Big Apple in his biodiesel Nutmobile to unveil a new urban park – a Planters Grove – on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Mr. Peanut is joined by local youth service corps members, residents of the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Lillian Wald Houses and Kraft employees for a day of community planting to add the finishing touches to the park. This is the third Planters Grove built in the U.S. this year as part of the Planters "Naturally Remarkable" program. Planters Groves were opened earlier this year in New Orleans and Washington, D.C.

Planters will be joined by U.S. Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, New York City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, New York State Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, NYCHA Chairman John Rhea and NYCHA Commissioner Margarita López to officially open New York City’s Planters Grove.

Located at Avenue D between 4th and 5th Streets, the Planters Grove provides NYCHA residents and families with more than 8,000 square feet of usable green space – helping to expand access to parkland in a neighborhood cited by New Yorkers for Parks as lacking adequate open space. Additionally, this Planters Grove furthers New York City’s PlaNYC goal of creating more accessible open space citywide and ensuring every New Yorker lives within a 10-minute walk from a park.

“Planters Groves reflect the values rooted in Planters heritage - sustainability, healthy lifestyles and community," said Scott Marcus, Senior Brand Manager, Planters. "By bringing a Planters Grove to NYCHA’s Lillian Wald Houses, residents and families will experience the many environmental, health and quality of life benefits that parks can provide communities."

Planters Grove Design Highlights

Each Planters Grove was designed by Ken Smith, the New York City landscape architect acclaimed for the rooftop garden at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the City’s East River Waterfront Esplanade and 7 World Trade Center Plaza. The New York City Planters Grove includes:

  • A rainwater garden features a lumber boardwalk with an underground system that collects rain water to help irrigate the park’s vegetation and reduce stormwater overflow
  • A wood surround that defines the park’s peanut-shape and acts as a trellis structure for a variety of greenery
  • Native flowers and plants such as azaleas and a variety of ferns, which will attract several species of birds and butterflies year-round
  • Numerous benches dot the park to provide seating for seniors and families


The park was developed with the input of NYCHA residents. Over 80 cubic yards of concrete, brick and debris were removed to create a green, open space for the community to enjoy.

"At NYCHA, we believe in the transformative power of creating and caring for green spaces," said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. "The New York City Planters Grove at Lillian Wald Houses is an example of how we can work together with our partners and the community to create greener NYCHA neighborhoods."

"Green spaces not only beautify neighborhoods, but they purify the air creating a healthier environment for us all," said NYCHA Commissioner and Environmental Coordinator Margarita López. "As part of its Green Agenda, NYCHA has been working with residents through its Gardening and Greening Program and Resident Green Committees to ensure a brighter greener tomorrow for our children."

The New York City Planters Grove was created in partnership with The Corps Network – the national organization promoting and advocating for Service and Conservation Corps across the U.S. Members of Green City Force, a New York City-based corps program providing NYCHA youth with green-collar job training, led the construction efforts and will help care for the park with NYCHA residents.

About Planters: Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, has a long history of pioneering industry firsts, including Dry Roasted Peanuts nearly fifty years ago. This inventiveness is delivered through a diverse portfolio of nutritious and delicious plant-based snacks such as peanuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios and other nuts. Planters NUT•rition offers a distinctive line of nut mixes that focus on specific nutritional needs.

About Kraft Foods: Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT) is a global snacks powerhouse with an unrivaled portfolio of brands people love. Proudly marketing delicious biscuits, confectionery, beverages, cheese, grocery products and convenient meals in approximately 170 countries, Kraft Foods had 2010 revenue of $49.2 billion. Twelve of the company’s iconic brands – Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Tang and Trident – generate revenue of more than $1 billion annually. On Aug. 4, 2011, Kraft Foods announced plans to divide and create two independent public companies: a high-growth global snacks business with estimated revenue of $32 billion and a high-margin North American grocery business with estimated revenue of $16 billion, based on 2010 financial results, adjusted for divestitures. The transaction will take at least 12 months to complete, during which time plans regarding the structure, management, governance and other matters will be announced. A leader in innovation, marketing, health & wellness and sustainability, Kraft Foods is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index. Visit kraftfoodscompany.com and facebook.com/kraftfoodscorporate.

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 46 states and the District of Columbia, Corps annually enroll more than 33,000 young men and women in service every year. Corps annually mobilize approximately 265,000 community volunteers who in conjunction with Corps members generate 15.3 million hours of service every year. Today's Corps, inheritors of the legacy of FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps, enable Corps members to improve community and the environment through programs including Civic Justice Corps, Public Lands Corps, Clean Energy Service Corps, and Corps Respond. By serving their nation, Corps members gain abilities that last a lifetime, including work readiness, educational advancement, civic engagement, and the ability to make responsible choices.

About Green City Force: Green City Force engages NYCHA residents, aged 18-24, who hold a GED or high school diploma in intensive service, training and academics geared towards clean energy careers. Our Corps Members reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve community environmental health through painting rooftops white and growing organic food, while gaining marketable skills and earning money for college. Our ambition is that national service directed at reducing green-house gas emissions and improving the environment becomes an avenue to prosperity for a generation of urban young adults in New York City.

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 www.facebook.com/TheCorpsNetwork and“Like” Mr. Peanut on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mrpeanut.

To learn more about Corps in your state and ways to volunteer, visit www.corpsnetwork.org.     

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 rspath@corpsnetwork.org or visit www.corpsnetwork.org

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 www.ecoreventures.com.

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 www.washingtonparks.net.

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 www.ecc1.org.

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 thesca.org.

 

 

 

The Corps Network and Planters Unveil New Park in New Orleans' Central City Neighborhood


 

Corpsmembers from Limitless Vistas, Inc. help plant the new park.

NEW ORLEANS—Today The Corps Network, the voice of the nation’s Service and Conservation Corps, and Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, unveil the first of four planned urban parks known as Planters Groves. The Corps Network’s local members, Limitless Vistas, Inc. and Louisiana Green Corps/Arc of Greater New Orleans worked with Planters and many other community partners to transform land into the peanut-shaped park. It was designed by renowned landscape architect Ken Smith. Located at 2047 Felicity Street in New Orleans’ historic Central City neighborhood, the unique public green space will open today at Noon CST. The opening will start with a traditional New Orleans’ second line, led by Mr. Peanut and his new biodiesel Planters Nutmobile.

Sally Prouty, President and CEO at The Corps Network, said that “The Corps Network thanks Planters, our Corps & Corpmembers, community partners, volunteers and the incredible people of Central City for helping us make this a reality.”

Over 150 local Corpsmembers and young community volunteers have been engaged in the creation of the park. So far they have helped to paint prominent park features, clean and sort bricks for pathways, and help plant many of the park’s diverse species. Limitless Vistas and the Louisiana Green Corps will lead the ongoing maintenance, programming, and seasonal planting of the park with additional community partners including New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative, Central City Partnership and Faubourg Lafayette Neighborhood Association, BFA Environmental, Old City Building Center, and FutureProof.

“We’re proud to have worked with the wonderful people of Central City to plant some good in New Orleans,” said Jason Levine, senior director of marketing at Planters.  “These parks were inspired by the community of growers who have been our namesake - planters.”

Locally-sourced reclaimed materials have been used in the construction of the park. For example, reclaimed windows from homes destroyed in Hurricane Katrina form the park’s peanut-shaped window surround and have been painted in 5 colors that reflect the neighborhood’s character. 

Plants that are part of the local ecology have also been used in the park’s design. Sixteen native bald cypress trees will help give the park a pleasant atmosphere that reflect the South’s distinctive and storied wetland forests, while flowers like Swamp Lilies and White Prairie Clovers will add charm and diversity to the understory.

Additional eco-friendly features include a rain garden, a community gathering spot made with recycled pavement called the “Legume Plaza,” and Adirondack style chairs made from recycled materials. A solar lighting system and rainwater collection tank will be added as the park’s final touches are completed. Planters has also added playful touches to the park’s design, including a special Mr. Peanut bench.

“We were excited to play a part in creating this Planters Grove,” said Patrick Barnes, founder of Limitless Vistas, Inc. “This natural park will not only be a place for the community to enjoy shared experiences, but will also serve as a teaching tool about the environment and local agriculture.”

In 2011, additional Planters Groves will be created in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and 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 www.facebook.com/TheCorpsNetwork and “Like” Mr. Peanut on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mrpeanut.

To learn more about Corps in your state and ways to volunteer, visit www.corpsnetwork.org.     

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 James Jones at jjones@corpsnetwork.org or visit www.corpsnetwork.org

About Limitless Vistas, Inc.: Limitless Vistas, Inc. (LVI) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established in Louisiana, post Katrina.  It has as its vision to train and educate inner city youth to become stewards of their environment and to introduce real entry level career opportunities for these youth in environmental science and engineering. For more information, contact Matilda Tennessee at matennessee1@bellsouth.net or visit www.limitlessvistas.org 

About Louisiana Green Corps: The mission of the Louisiana Green Corps (LA Green Corps) is to provide green job skills training to unemployed, under-employed, court involved or otherwise disadvantaged residents through the completion of impactful environmental restoration and conservation projects. For more information, contact Vance Levesque at arccontroller@bellsouth.net or visit www.lagreencorps.org

The Corps Network and Planters to Collaborate

 

The Corps Network, the voice of the nation’s Service and Conservation Corps, andPlanters, America’s leading snack nut brand, are coming together to transform neglected land into natural spaces, in select communities across America. Ken Smith, the renowned landscape architect, is being tapped to design the spaces – with a whimsical touch befitting of the brand and its iconic character, Mr. Peanut.

Starting in 2011, The Corps Network and its member Corps will help Planters bring its “Naturally Remarkable” campaign to life by encouraging Americans to get their hands dirty, reconnect with the earth and experience real growth in their community. 

Increasingly, companies are working with nonprofits to address a variety of issues facing our communities. The Corps Network hopes their work with Planters will become a model for what can be accomplished when the private and public sector join together.

“We are very excited about working with Planters,” said Sally Prouty, President & CEO. “Our rich histories and commitment to sustainability brought us together, and it’s our mutual desire to make a difference in our communities that drives us forward.”

This is the first national public/private collaboration of this type for The Corps Network. “We are very committed to the work we and our member Corps do. Our first major collaboration of this scale had to celebrate conservation and service,” said Sally Prouty. “ Planters’ commitment to sustainability and its desire to bring people together in service fit with what The Corps Network is about.”

“We want to celebrate where we came from. Planters are the original entrepreneurs – scrappy and down to earth,” said Jason Levine, Senior Marketing Director at Planters. “We’re excited to work with The Corps Network, its member Corps and local community volunteers to create spaces where people can reconnect with the land, plant memories and grow a community.”

About The Corps Network: Established in 1985, The Corps Network is the voice of the nation's 143 Service and Conservation Corps. Currently operating in 47 states and the District of Columbia, The Corps Network enrolls more than 30,000 young men and women in service in addition to mobilizing approximately 227,000 community volunteers annually. For more information contact James Jones at jjones@corpsnetwork.org or visit www.corpsnetwork.org.

About Planters & Sustainability: Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, has a long history of pioneering industry firsts and this inventiveness is delivered through a diverse portfolio of nutritious and delicious snacks.Planters is working with the National Peanut Board to recognize peanut farmers who are implementing sustainability practices and making positive social changes in their local communities. Planters is a founding member of the African Cashew Initiative, which aims to increase the cashew-related income of 150,000 cashew farmers over the next four years. Planters has also conserved 5.6 million pounds in packaging and shipping materials and its Suffolk, VA roasting facility has achieved a “zero waste to landfill” goal.

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