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The Nature Conservancy Helps Grow Future Conservationists Through Their Summer Internships

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SOURCE The Nature Conservancy

NEW YORK, July 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nature Conservancy, the world's largest conservation organization, announced that students from its Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) Program are heading out for a great summer adventure to nature preserves in 27 states across the country.  Students, many of whom have never spent time out of their city, let alone one-on-one with worms and toads, will participate in a paid internship program from July 7th through August 1st.

During the course of their internship, they will train for green jobs and enhance their classroom education by participating in conservation activities like trailblazing, shellfish restoration, wildlife monitoring and the removal of invasive species.

This is the 20th year of the LEAF Program, whose mission is to engage urban youth in conservation activities now so that they will become stewards for our planet tomorrow. In its 20 year history, LEAF has expanded from one to 27 states and over 700 interns have participated in the program. LEAF provides paid jobs for students on nature preserves around the country and enriches these experiences in the classroom by providing professional development opportunities to educators from green partner high schools.

This comprehensive, environmental leadership program for teenagers and their educators serves students attending environmentally-themed high schools in urban areas including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Georgia, Colorado, Rhode Island, California, Washington, Illinois, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The continued expansion of the LEAF program nationwide is due to leading support from the Toyota USA Foundation.

"The main goal of the LEAF program is to expose urban youth to nature and conservation careers at a young age to nurture a passion for the environment which will stick with them both personally and professionally for the rest of their lives," said Brigitte Griswold, Director of Youth Programs for The Nature Conservancy.  "Providing students with the opportunity to participate in actual conservation projects on preserves is a great complement to their environmental classroom learning and gives them hands-on experience they may not otherwise get during the school year."

Learn more about the students that LEAF serves, the Toyota USA Foundation and about this unique partnership model at www.nature.org/LEAF.

About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. For more information, visit www.nature.org.

CONTACT: Vivian Llodra, 1-212-524-8054, vllodra@tnc.org

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