/R E P E A T -- Volunteers and Conservation - It's only natural!/

TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ -

News

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is marking National Volunteer Week (April 18 - 24) with the launch of its Conservation Volunteers program for 2010.

This unique program takes Canadians outdoors to experience the beauty of nature while working to protect and care for some of our most precious wild life and natural areas.

Conservation Volunteers gives people of all ages and all walks of life the opportunity to work alongside NCC's professional conservation staff. They learn new skills, explore unique habitats, and observe rare species in the wild. With over 70 events planned right across the country, there will be something for everyone, from the budding ecologist to the skilled naturalist - from families to school and corporate groups.

Camp along the Alberta/Saskatchewan border Canada Day weekend while sleuthing for plants at the Botany Alberta Border Cross (http://www.natureconservancy.ca/site/VolunteerMgmtUser?user_view_type=BROWSE&event_id=533221&volunteermgmt.user=vm_event_details) event or help restore a forest on Canada's most southern inhabited point in Pelee Island (http://www.natureconservancy.ca/site/VolunteerMgmtUser?user_view_type=BROWSE&event_id=532481&volunteermgmt.user=vm_event_details), Ontario then head down to Quebec to rescue the threatened Spiny Softshell Turtles (http://www.natureconservancy.ca/site/VolunteerMgmtUser?user_view_type=BROWSE&event_id=533854&volunteermgmt.user=vm_event_details).

Whether helping to provide a safe haven for endangered species, removing invasive species that choke out native plants in many regions, or planting trees, shrubs and bulbs, Conservation Volunteers play a vital role in NCC's mission to protect its natural areas. Without volunteers NCC could not achieve its conservation goals.

What better way to celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity than to connect with nature? Register now for this year's Conservation Volunteers events! Visit NCC's website (http://www.natureconservancy.ca/site/PageServer?pagename=vfn_home) to find an event near you!

Quotes

"Earth Day is a time when people evaluate their personal contributions to the environment" says John Lounds, President and Chief Executive Officer of NCC. "The Conservation Volunteers program is a meaningful and tangible way for nature-lovers to do their part to protect significant wildlife habitats - not just on Earth Day but year-round."

"What makes this program so special is that volunteers are not sitting in an office stuffing envelopes or handing out pamphlets at a conference - they're right there outside, contributing directly to what they believe in," explains Lisa McLaughlin, Conservation Volunteers Program Manager at NCC. "Volunteers work alongside professional conservationists and get to see the impact of their work first-hand."

Facts

    
    -  Conservation Volunteers began as a small regional initiative in
       Ontario. This is the third year for a full-scale national program. In
       2009 more than one thousand volunteers got their hands dirty with NCC.
    -  They planted 4,000 trees, shrubs and bulbs,
    -  Recorded over 4,000 birds,
    -  Collected over a tonne of garbage.
    -  They contributed more than 9,000 hours translating into $250,000 worth
       of conservation work vital to NCC's mission to protect our natural
       treasures.
    

Learn More

Conservation Volunteers Video Link (http://www.youtube.com/user/NatureConsCDANo.p/u)

Photos: Father Daughter bonding (http://www.natureconservancy.ca/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=13241) Planting with Purpose (http://www.natureconservancy.ca/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=13242)

To register for events taking place in your region visit www.conservationvolunteers.ca

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2 million acres (800,000 hectares), coast to coast. To learn more visit: www.natureconservancy.ca

Great media opportunities available.

SOURCE Nature Conservancy of Canada

For further information: For further information: Reena Kudhail, Media Relations Coordinator, Nature Conservancy of Canada, (416) 932-0050 ext. 252, reena.kudhail@natureconservancy.ca

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