The Nature Conservancy Joins President’s United We Serve Initiative

Volunteers Take on Region’s Newest, Nastiest Foreign Plant

GREAT FALLS, VA | August 05, 2009

The Nature Conservancy is taking part in United We Serve, a national effort launched by President Obama to engage more Americans in serving their communities this summer.

The Nature Conservancy will be removing wavy leaf basket grass, a new invasive weed recently introduced to the region, from the Fraser Preserve on August 6 and 8. Fraser Preserve sits along the Potomac River, just north of Great Falls, Virginia.  

Each year the United States spends $200 billion to fight the spread of invasive species — plants and animals that run roughshod over native species after being released in the United States.  The work is part of the summer service initiative, which President Obama announced in a video message last month.

“We are pleased to be taking part in this national effort and greatly appreciate the service of those who volunteer,” said Michael Lipford, director of The Nature Conservancy in Virginia.

United We Serve kicked off on June 22 and runs through September 11, which will be marked for the first time as a national day of service and remembrance. The initiative is being led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that improves lives and strengthens communities though volunteering and service.

“This summer, I'm calling on all of you to make volunteerism and community service part of your daily life and the life of this nation,” said President Obama in the video.  “Economic recovery is as much about what you're doing in your communities as what we're doing in Washington — and it’s going to take all of us, working together.”

United We Serve focuses on five key areas where everyone can have a real impact in their community: education, health, energy and the environment, community renewal, and safety and security.

To make it easy for individuals to get involved, the corporation created,a website that allows visitors to type in their zip codes to find local volunteer opportunities; recruit volunteers by posting their organizations' projects; or get ideas for creating their own projects with friends, families, and neighbors.   “Everyone has something to give, and summer is a great time to get involved,” said Nat Williams, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Maryland/DC Chapter. “We hope serving this summer will inspire more folks to make an ongoing commitment to volunteering throughout the year.”

To join the volunteer effort, and to get directions and more information, contact Jennifer Rich, volunteer coordinator, at 434-951-0572 or

For more information on wavy leaf basket grass you can check out these links:

For more information on Fraser Preserve and its history:

Fraser Preserve

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Contact information

Jon Schwedler
(301) 897-8570

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