LEAF Program Kicks Off Its 19th Year of Getting Kids Involved in Nature

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The Nature Conservancy Sends Students From Around The Country to Nature Preserves for Summer Internships

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The main goal of the LEAF program is to expose urban youth to nature and conservation careers at a young age to nurture a passion for the environment which will stick with them both personally and professionally for the rest of their lives.

The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest conservation organization, announced that students from its Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) Program are heading out for a great summer adventure to nature preserves in 27 participating states across the country. Students, many of whom have never spent time out of their city, let alone one-on-one with worms and toads, will participate in a paid internship program for the month of July.

During the course of their internship, they will train for green jobs and enhance their classroom education by participating in conservation activities like trailblazing, shellfish restoration, wildlife monitoring and the removal of invasive species.

This is the 19th year of the LEAF Program, whose mission is to engage urban youth in conservation activities now so that they will become stewards for our planet tomorrow. The program provides paid jobs for students on nature preserves around the country and enriches these experiences in the classroom by providing professional development opportunities to educators from green partner high schools.

This comprehensive, environmental leadership program for teenagers and their educators serves students attending environmentally-themed high schools in urban areas including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Georgia, Colorado, Rhode Island, California, Washington, Illinois, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The continued expansion of the LEAF program nationwide is due to leading support from the Toyota USA Foundation, which recently gave an additional $4 million grant to the program.

“The main goal of the LEAF program is to expose urban youth to nature and conservation careers at a young age to nurture a passion for the environment which will stick with them both personally and professionally for the rest of their lives,” said Brigitte Griswold, Director of Youth Programs for The Nature Conservancy. “Providing students with the opportunity to participate in actual conservation projects on preserves is a great complement to their environmental classroom learning and gives them hands-on experience they may not otherwise get during the school year.”

Learn more about the students that LEAF serves, the Toyota USA Foundation and about this unique partnership model at http://www.nature.org/LEAF.

About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide — and we operate more than 100 marine conservation projects globally. The Nature Conservancy works in all 50 states and more than 30 countries—protecting habitats from grasslands to coral reefs, from Australia to Alaska to Zambia. For more information, visit http://www.nature.org.

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Vivian Llodra
Nature Conservancy, The
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