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NEWS | Nov. 2, 2021

NNSY Demonstrates Environmental Stewardship In Commemoration of National Public Lands Day

By Jason Scarborough, Public Affairs Specialist Norfolk Naval Shipyard

Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) Natural Resource Program is the recipient of the National Environmental Education Foundation’s (NEEF) National Public Lands Day (NPLD) Department of Defense (DoD) Award.  NNSY was honored for its commitment to the workforce, community and environment.

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) is the nation’s leading organization in lifelong environmental learning, creating opportunities for people to experience and learn  to improve their lives and the health of the planet. Congressionally chartered in 1990 as a nonprofit organization to complement the work of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NEEF is a non-partisan, non-advocacy organization working to make the environment more accessible, relatable, relevant, and connected to people’s daily lives. 

NEEF routinely highlights individual and group commitment to nature through education and service. In commemoration of this year's NPLD, the DoD, through the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy and Installations, and the Legacy Resource Management Program, funded projects on military lands that are open for recreation.  This year’s NPLD DoD Award to NNSY was for natural resources management, restoration, and/or enhancement projects in commemoration of National Public Lands Day on September 25. To support this initiative, native trees were planted at NNSY’s St. Juliens Creek Annex to help increase biodiversity, reduce heat islands and increase water absorption.

NEEF's NPLD is the nation's largest single-day volunteer event for public lands. Established in 1994 and held annually, this celebration brings out thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands around the country. NPLD 2021 will maintain and build on the theme of "More Ways to Connect to Nature."

NNSY’s Natural Resources Manager, Hayley Becker stated, “NEEF offers a variety of grants and awards to help organizations engage their local community to improve the environment, increase diversity, and expand their work locally. The NPLD DoD Awards provides funding to selected installations to implement natural resources management, restoration, and/or enhancement projects and NNSY’s NPLD was a great success! Ten volunteers including our River Star Business Partner, The Elizabeth River Project, came out to plant trees at the Craddock Little League fields. We planted 20 native trees: 10 red maples, four red oaks, three eastern redbud, and three cypress. There are numerous benefits to planting trees, including improving air quality, reducing and storing excess carbon, stabilizing soils, providing shade, and increasing native biodiversity. Our efforts with the help of these volunteers will have a lasting impact in these public spaces. NNSY’s natural resources goal is to support more environmental stewardship events and opportunities to help protect and improve the environment. Being that this is the first year NNSY Natural Resources has participated in this event, I believe each year will build upon the next!”

The event was open to the Public and all DoD personnel and Hampton Roads residents were invited to join in planting these native trees to benefit our communities, providing clearer air and absorbing excess water.