The Virginia Senior Environment Corps (VSEC), established in 1999,
currently has more than 150 volunteers of all ages, led by senior citizens,
who regularly work on a variety of environmental projects.
They have also worked with school children on environmental stewardship
activities. VSEC members were instrumental in removing graffiti along the
Rappahannock River and for removing non-native invasive vines from trees
in Northern Virginia. The recent addition of a SEC in Roanoke will soon
have volunteers working on karst protection. Karst is defined as
a landscape with topographic depressions such as sinkholes and caves, caused
by underground solution of limestone bedrock. The hollow nature of
karst terrain results in a very high pollution potential.
Located in Alexandria, Virginia, the NVSEC consists of a core group of seniors who provide volunteer assistance in their communities to address locally identified challenges. NVSEC recruits, trains and organizes the volunteers who then provide visible, hands-on work in their local surroundings. These volunteers act with their community to sustain the environment for future generations. The NVSEC is hosted by the Campagna Center’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), in agreement with the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement (EASI).
All members of NVSEC are automatically enrolled in RSVP, a national program whose mission is to provide opportunities for seniors (55+) of all backgrounds to engage in volunteer service that addresses the community’s educational, public safety, environmental and other human needs to achieve direct and demonstrable results and to encourage all senior citizens to engage in such service.
One major project of the NVSEC is the Volunteer Senior Ranger Corps (VSRC). Funded by the United Parcel Service Foundation and administered through the National Park Foundation and EASI, the project’s purpose is to increase local commitment to the stewardship of our nation’s historical, cultural and environmental treasures. NVSEC volunteers carry out Habitat Restoration in partnership with the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Alexandria Seaport Foundation. The program is volunteer-driven and it’s goals are to reduce the amount of exotic vines and plants in Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, as well as educate others on the repercussions of abandoning these efforts.
The Volunteer Senior Rangers work with local high schools by providing guidance and assistance during field studies. Elementary students also benefit from the environmental knowledge of the volunteers. Through hands-on educational activities provided by the volunteers, students gain a better understanding of the need for their participation and how they can help preserve and improve the environment. NVSEC members also work on water quality monitoring, community gardening, tree inventories, river clean-ups, macroinvertebrate surveys and wetland plantings.
The NVSEC provides meaningful, quality volunteer opportunities that
draw on the lifetime of experience and knowledge of capable, older citizens
to bring positive change to our world.
Click here to return to the Program Page.
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