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September 08, 2010

Sept 11th -- Let's Save That Date

You probably remember exactly where you were nine years ago on September 11th. But do you know where you'll be on that date this year? I hope you'll be joining us for the second annual observance of the National Day of Service and Remembrance. In the words of President Obama, this is a day for Americans to "summon once more that ordinary goodness of America -- to serve our communities, to strengthen our country, and to better our world."

In that spirit, the Sierra Club has created Serve Outdoors. It's a way to find volunteer opportunities this Saturday that honor those who defend and protect our country, communities, and great outdoors every day.

Serve Outdoors is also a chance to engage students nationwide in environmental service projects. That's why we first announced it at the High School for Environmental Studies in Manhattan, where I joined students and staff in June for a kickoff event on the school's rooftop garden. The kids are excited and determined to create something positive out of the tragic history of 9/11 through an environmental service project that will benefit the city of New York. Their school is just the first of many that are participating.

Serve Outdoors is just one of the Club's many youth-oriented programs, but it's one of my favorites because it ties together so much of what we do: the natural world, volunteerism, and involving diverse communities. If we can't get young people to not only care about the environment but also to do something about it, then we might as well fold our tents. But I think we can, and Serve Outdoors proves it.

Whether you're sixteen or sixty, I hope you can join us on Saturday. Check our website to sign up for an event near you or to post your own event. And if you can't make it on September 11th, you can still tell us how you serve your community year-round on our honor list.

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Michael Brune

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