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Earth Rangers

Earth Rangers

My daughter loves animals.  She has been reading about animals since she was old enough to read.  She loves all animals so when I saw today’s organization I immediately thought of her.

Earth Rangers is a Canadian conservation organization for kids based in Woodbridge, Ontario.  The organization was founded in 2001 and is focused on communicating a positive, science-based message on the importance of protecting biodiversity.  Their programs, including a children’s website, earthrangers.com, a television presence, and a School Outreach Program, educate children about the threats facing animals and their habitats.  These programs allow Earth Rangers to reach, inspire, and enable millions of children each year to take action to help ensure the lasting survival of species in Canada.

The Earth Rangers Animal Ambassadors are the live animals featured in the School Outreach Program that visit over 550 schools across Canada annually with the organization’s Wildlife Biologists.  The program includes an animal demonstration in front of a full school assembly focusing on the natural science as well as the challenges facing Canadian biodiversity today.  The program inspires students to learn more about animals, their habitats, and protection of biodiversity.

The Animal Ambassadors call the Earth Rangers Centre home.  This building was designed to embody the Earth Rangers values and inspire everyone who walks through its doors.  The building is certified LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings utilizing advanced green building features such as energy monitoring, solar generation, green roofing, and geothermal heating and cooling.

Earth Rangers also has a kid-powered conservation program called Bring Back the Wild.  This program is design to help protect endangered animals in Canada by raising funds to purchase, restore, and protect their wild habitats.  Since launching the program in September 2010, over 150,000 children have registered to help protect animals and their habitats.  The Bring Back the Wild program allows children to visit the Earth Rangers website to learn more about the threats to a species and their habitat, and then create a fundraising campaign to help make a difference.

Some kids have done so much to make a difference, Earth Rangers have featured them as Super Rangers.  Some recent Super Rangers include:

  • Natalie and Haley who are selling cakes to save wildlife,
  • Alex who is selling chocolate chip cookies to save Caribou, and
  • Veronica who started an Earth Ranger Club at her school.

How can you help?

  • You can encourage the children in your life to visit EarthRangers.com to learn more about the threats facing animals and their habitats.  You can also help them create a Bring Back the Wild fundraising campaign.  Families can support children by getting involved and helping them to raise funds to meet their goal.
  • Children and adults can also hold an Earth Rangers themed birthday party to raise funds for wildlife.
  • There are also opportunities for corporations to get involved through the Corporate Volunteer Program.
  • There are also opportunities to make a donation on the Earth Rangers website.
  • You can also follow the Earth Rangers blog to stay updated on their work and organization.   

You can find out more on their website, earthrangers.org.  Their children’s website can be found at earthrangers.com.  You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

 

Related post: One More Generation

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Nonprofit Organization

 

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Project Noah

Typically I write about organizations…but in honor of Geography Awareness Week(November 13-19, 2001) and the third annual Blog-A-Thon hosted by the National Geographic Society, I am posting something a little different today.  The theme for this year’s Geography Awareness Week is “Geography: The Adventure in Your Community” – the connections between people and their surrounding environments, local action, and, of course, geography education.  Today’s post is about something that helps people around the globe connect with nature and the environment.

Project Noah (which stands for networked organisms and habitats) is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.  The project began in early 2010 as an experiment to see if the team could build a fun, location-based mobile application to encourage people to reconnect with nature and document local wildlife.  They wanted to take advantage of the power and popularity of smart phones to collect important ecological data and help preserve global biodiversity.

In February 2010, the team’s first iPhone app was launched.  After winning some awards, the team attracted National Geographic as an investor.  By encouraging everyone to document their encounters with nature, the Project Noah team hopes to build a powerful force for data collection and an important educational tool for wildlife awareness and preservation.  According to National Geographic, “Project Noah harnesses the power of citizen scientists everywhere to discover the world’s organisms.”

You can sign up on their website, projectnoah.org for a free account.  If you have an iPhone or Android phone, you can also download their mobile app for free.  Using the app you can manage your spottings and participate in missions.  For example, one current mission is “Birds of the World” where you can document your bird encounters by taking photographs and adding descriptive notes.  You add as much information as you can about your spotting and upload it to the Project Noah website.  Then many dedicated community members help identify your spotting.  Other missions include spotting urban biodiversity, bats, spiders, and ladybugs.  One interesting mission I found was a local mission to monitor sightings of the Emerald Ash Borer – an invasive beetle from Asia that is killing trees around my local area. 

Even if you don’t have a smart phone, you can still participate by uploading photos directly to the Project Noah website.

So, how can you get involved?  It’s easy – just sign up for free and start connecting with nature in your own backyard.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Other

 

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Tree Trust

It is Spring!  In Minnesota this year Spring has taken a long time to arrive.  Spring is one of my favorite seasons – green appears out of the grey, flowers bloom and baby animals start to appear.  Today’s organization is dedicated to greening our local community while making a difference in people’s lives.

Tree Trust is an organization serving the state of Minnesota.  Their mission is to merge lives and landscapes to improve the community environment by investing in people.  Their programs provide meaningful opportunities for greening the local community; give youth the chance to experience success, boost their self-confidence, and find direction; teach practical job skills to help adults re-shape their lives; and help neighbors understand and connect with each other and the natural world.

By the 1970’s, Dutch elm disease had devastated the elm tree population in Minnesota.  Elm trees had been popular in neighborhoods prior then, so this disease devastated the urban tree canopy.  Tree Trust was created in 1976 to address not only the loss of trees but also the high unemployment and poverty rates for youth and adults at the time.  They began combating these issues by providing out-of-work individuals with training and paid jobs reforesting the community.  Since their founding, they have expanded to also offer integrated employment training, community forestry and environmental education programs.

They are located in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.  They serve the entire state, but primarily focus on the seven county metro area.  This year Tree Trust celebrates 35 years of bringing people together to create positive, lasting changes in their lives and in their communities.  They believe that amazing things happen when people connect with one another and the natural world.

Tree Trust does not just plant trees.  Their projects have included staircases and retaining walls to control erosion, removing buckthorn to give native plants a chance to thrive, creating trails and boardwalks make parks more accessible and enjoyable, building LEED-certified houses that conserve energy and natural resources, and planting thousands of new trees each year, and removing dead and diseased trees to preserve and protect community forests.

Since 1976 Tree Trust has provided job training and employment for 32,000 young people and 10,000 adults; completed hundreds of park maintenance, landscaping and construction projects; planted 72,000 trees and shrubs in schools, parks and community areas; and increased awareness and educated 115,000 students, teachers and community members about the importance of trees and green spaces to the health and vitality of a community.

Volunteers play important roles at Tree Trust.  Here are some of the ways they utilize volunteers:

  • Hundreds of people volunteer every spring and fall to plant trees with Tree Trust.  They provide hands-on training at each event, so no experience is necessary. Individuals, friends, families and groups are invited to volunteer. Children and dogs are also welcome, as long as they’re supervised.
  • Volunteers hand out hundreds of trees to residents who participate in municipal tree distributions.  These events are great for families, friends and other small groups, however, you must be able to do some heavy lifting.
  • Volunteers come help preserve Tree Trust’s past by helping to preserve photos taken over their 35 year history.  The archive volunteer position is great for individuals who have a good understanding of computers.
  • Volunteers can help by folding letters and stuffing, sealing and stamping envelopes.
  • Tree Care Advisors, Master Gardeners or volunteers with a strong interest in trees, can help teach and train the volunteers at their planting events.  Volunteers also teach students at “Learning with Trees” school plantings.
  • Tree Trust is also open to other volunteer opportunities based on your own interest.  Please contact Tracie Huhn to discuss your interests.

In addition, as with other organizations, monetary donations are also welcome.  Donations are accepted via their website or via GiveMN.org

Tree Trust is recognized nationally as one of the leading nonprofit organizations that involves diverse urban populations in employment, community forestry and environmental programs.  Tree Trust is leaving lasting improvements in Minnesota’s parks, nature areas, schools, neighborhood spaces, community agencies and backyards.  Learn more about them at their website, www.treetrust.org.  You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.  You can also follow their blog.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Nonprofit Organization

 

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