Ten Environmental Service Projects
The following are 10 Environmental Service/Beautification Projects that you could perform in your community. Be sure to find out specific rules and regulations regarding the project you want to complete. Since most of these projects involve a Community Service Project component, check out the Tip Sheet on Starting a Community Service Project. Remember: these are only ideas...be creative and work to protect your environment in other ways!
1. Planting Trees
Is there a shortage of greenery in your neighborhood? Do you see a park or street that could benefit from a few more trees? Why not look into planting trees in your neighborhood. Here are some websites that can help you get started: Arbor Day Foundation (www.arborday.org) and TreeHelp.com (www.treeplanting. com). You will be able to find out the types of trees that are just right to grow in your neighborhood simply by punching in your zip code. Also, check out Tree Musketeers at (www. treemusketeers.org) to find out how you can become a member of the largest youth run organization dedicated to planting trees across the world as an agent of social change.
2. Testing Water and/or Soil
Ever wonder about the chemical composition of your drinking water and the soil in and around your home? The United States Department of Agriculture sponsors a website on the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Services (CSREES). By visiting this site (www.reeusda.gov/1700/ statepartners/usa.htm) you will be able to find where soil and water testing is conducted in your community. Also, check out Earth Force (www.earthforce.org) for information on testing water.
3. River Cleanups
Is there a stream, river, or other flowing body of water in your neighborhood? If so, is it clean or does it get cluttered with garbage or items that could otherwise be recycled? Does the water source flow into a bigger body of water? If you answered yes to most of these questions, chances are that you are near a river or stream that could use your help. Be sure to contact your local town/city government for information on issues regarding illegal dumping, hazardous waste, and who will be able to pick up the debris that you collect. Chances are that your city or town will welcome the extra help in beautifying your community and be willing to properly dispose of the garbage that was collected. By cleaning up a flowing body of water you are not only helping to protect the immediate area and life that reside in the water, but also improving the quality of life for animals and plants that will no longer run the risk of getting tangled in or swallowing the pieces of debris that you have collected.
4. Recycling Programs
Today, many communities have recycling programs. If yours happens to be one of the communities without such a program, contact your town/city hall or company that picks up the refuse in your neighborhood for information on how to start such a program. Visit Keep America Beautiful at (www. kab.org) and The EPA’s page on recycling at (www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/recycle.htm). Earth’s 911 can help you locate environmental information and recycling centers in your community just by typing in your zip code.
Reprinted with the permission of Youth Service America. © 1996-2008 Youth Service America. All Rights Reserved.